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Regulators Getting Creative on Facebook Privacy Issues

Regulators are getting creative on Facebook privacy issues with a solid creative argument from the German Federal Cartel Office, arguing that voluntary agreement must have reasonable choices. So, the era of you take it as it is or leave it may be over soon.

“In view of Facebook’s superior market power, an obligatory tick on the box to agree to the company’s terms of use is not an adequate basis for such intensive data processing,” said Andreas Mundt, the watchdog’s president. “The only choice the user has is either to accept the comprehensive combination of data or to refrain from using the social network. In such a difficult situation the user’s choice cannot be referred to as voluntary consent.”

“Voluntary consent means that the use of Facebook’s services must not be subject to the users’ consent to their data being collected and combined in this way. If users do not consent, Facebook may not exclude them from its services and must refrain from collecting and merging data from different sources.”

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office