BGH decides on: Facebook must limit data collection

Facebook needs to implement the Federal cartel office demanded stricter rules for the collection and analysis of user data immediately, although a lawsuit filed

BGH decides on: Facebook must limit data collection

Facebook needs to implement the Federal cartel office demanded stricter rules for the collection and analysis of user data immediately, although a lawsuit filed by the American Internet giant runs in front of the higher regional court in Düsseldorf. This was decided by the Federal court of justice (BGH) in summary proceedings.

Helmut Bünder

economic correspondent in Düsseldorf.

F. A. Z.

The dispute revolves around the question of whether users of the social network must expressly agree, that Facebook collects data on third-party websites. This relates to the interfaces via the "Like" and "Share"buttons that are installed by the millions on websites and in Apps.

More Facebook, data would be allowed out of his chat program Whatsapp, the collect photo platform, Instagram, and other group services. But these data are likely to be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Federal cartel office, also only with the Express consent of the customer with the Facebook user accounts.

Facebook's dominant market position

In the current practice, the cartel office sees a breach of the data protection in the Facebook market in need of dominant position abuse. This statement of reasons is not objectionable, as the Supreme court.

The legal battle at the interface between competition and privacy has to move to new territory. The presiding judge of the Supreme court, Peter Meier-Beck, noted during the hearing on the rapid technical development of the past few years.

There is therefore very little specific basis for a decision. "This is not, however, mean that the cartel would be right to hold out," he said at the hearing.

Uses of antitrust law?

The düsseldorf higher regional court (OLG) had expressed in the previous year, doubts about the procedures of the cartel office and, therefore, the implementation of the decision against Facebook temporarily suspended. By contrast, the Antimonopoly office has dealt with his appeal on points of law before the Supreme court successfully to defend.

Now, the OLG is not true. In the main proceedings, it must decide whether it stays in in February 2019 from the Federal cartel office arranged restrictions. However, the Supreme court confirmed the line of reasoning of the Bonn-based antitrust enforcers: These are based on the dominant market position of Facebook.

Updated Date: 23 June 2020, 11:20

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