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Germany Orders Facebook to Gather Less User Data

Germany has told Facebook to stop gathering data about users from beyond its app and website without their consent. The country’s competition watchdog has been probing Facebook for three years over concerns that members were unaware of how much data it gathers. The ruling says Facebook’s services, including Instagram, can keep collecting data but can’t combine it with the user’s main Facebook account unless the member gives explicit consent. Data collected from third-party websites is also not allowed to be assigned to a Facebook user’s account without permission. The watchdog said an “obligatory tick on the box” to agree to all the company’s terms wasn’t enough for “such intensive data processing,” the BBC reports. Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt said, following the ruling: “Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts.” Facebook said it will appeal the ruling.