Facebook blog emphasizes that popularity is not dominance – and that they believe the Bundeskartellamt isn’t even the right agency to be chasing them. “The GDPR specifically empowers data protection regulators – not competition authorities – to determine whether companies are living up to their responsibilities,” said the Facebook blog. Their position is that there are lots of social media alternatives out there and that using information across services simply helps Facebook to provide them better. Consent for combining data from various sources was not mentioned in the Facebook post.
Both sides are digging in and Facebook has said it will appeal the ruling within the next month. This ruling comes at an uncertain time for the technology giants. Facebook has already announced its plans to merge the Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging apps. Google has just been hit with fine in France for GDPR violations. In addition, it’s not clear if or when the United States will come up with a unified data privacy law.
It only takes a little extrapolation to see the likely future — at least in Europe. When it comes to the collection and exchange of personally identifiable information between apps, it’s time for a mandatory ‘opt in’ from the user.