Berlin: Facebook (FB) may be using its dominant market position to violate data protection rules, Germany’s competition watchdog said Wed, announcing it had opened a probe into the social network.
The Federal Cartel Office said it had “initiated a proceeding against FB Inc., United state of America, the Irish subsidiary of the company and Facebook Germany GmbH”.
“The authority is inspecting suspicions that with its specific terms of service on the use of user data, Facebook has abused its possibly dominant status in the market for social networks,” said the office, the Bundeskartellamt, in a assertion.
The office said there was “an initial suspicion” that FB’s conditions of use were in violation of data Privacy provisions.
This “could depict an offensive imposition of unfair conditions on users,” it explained.
The Bundeskartellamt would examine, “among other Matters, to what extent a connection exists between the possibly dominant position of the company and the use of such specification”.
Cartel office chief Andreas Mundt said that for advertising-financed Internet services such as FB, user data were “hugely important”.