German court: Facebook to stop comprehensive data collection

Facebook has to stop the comprehensive collection of user data for the time being. The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH). in the case of Facebook Ireland LLC v. Bundeskartellamt  KVR 69/19, confirmed a prohibition order by the Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office) issued in 2019.

Anyone who has a Facebook account must consent to the use of their data in order to use the platform. However, Facebook collects personal information not only when using Facebook itself, but also data that the user leaves on WhatsApp, Instagram, other services, and third party apps and websites. 

According to the BGH, such conduct is against German competition rules, giving Facebook an unfair advantage. Facebook can not request blanket consent from its users to collect and link data, without offering an alternative of less extensive data use. This is regardless of whether the data collection is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).