German Watchdog opens probe against Facebook on privacy issues

Germany: Germany’s competition watchdog stated on Wednesday, i.e. on 2nd day of March, that the Social Media Major- Facebook may be abusing its dominant market position and violating data protection rules. The said comments were preferred by it while announcing that it had opened the investigation to the social network.

It was stated by the Federal Cartel Office that it had started a proceedings against the Facebook Inc, United States of America, the Irish subsidiary of the company and Facebook Germany GmbH. Such statements were released a day after, the Founder and Chief of Facebook- Mark Zuckerberg had made a highly- publicized visit to Berlin.

Moreover, as per the statements preferred Bundeskartellamt, he said that the suspicions of Facebook’s abused of its possibly dominant position in the market for social networks with its specific terms of service on the use of user data is being investigated by the authority.

Also, the Privacy Advocates have brought Facebook under the fire as they are claiming the social network collects too much data and is not transparent enough in how it uses the information.

There was an initial suspicion against Facebook, that its conditions of use were in violation of data protection provisions, as said by German cartel watchdog. Moreover, in its explanation, it stated that, this could represent an abusive imposition of unfair conditions on users.

Moreover, the Chief of the Cartel office- Andreas Mundt found stating that user data were ‘hugely important’ for advertising- financed Internet services like Facebook. And on this count, the examination under the aspect of abuse of market power whether the consumers are sufficiently informed about the type and extent of data collected, is also essential.

As per the comments from office, they contended that the social media major- Facebook has collected a large amount of personal user data from various sources.

Also, the German Court stated that the Facebook may prevent its users from using fake names. And responding one the complaint preferred by the Woman before the Hamburg watchdog, it had adopted strict view and stated in last July that the Facebook could not unilaterally change users’ chosen usernames to their real names, nor even could it ask them for official identification.

Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan