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EU: Facebook eases into crosshairs of antitrust watchdogs

 |  July 3, 2017

In a new case of a European government agency announcing or conducting oversight of an incumbent tech company, Germany is evaluating whether Facebook exploits its popularity by essentially forcing users to agree to its contractual guidelines, according to a Bloomberg report published Monday.

The country’s Federal Cartel Office thinks it’s possible the social media company may be collecting people’s private data due to stipulations written in the fine print of its terms and conditions, even though many people presumably don’t read the rules. It alleges that people will agree to the contract without doing their due diligence because being part of the social network is considered critical. User data is highly valuable for Facebook because the information on personal tendencies, preferences, and interests help create expensive targeted advertisements.

“Whoever doesn’t agree to the data use, gets locked out of the social network community,” Frederik Wiemer, a lawyer in Hamburg, told Bloomberg. “The fear of social isolation is exploited to get access to the complete surfing activities of users.”

Full Content: Bloomberg

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