“Facebook’s massively lucrative advertising model relies on tracking its one billion users—as well as the billions on WhatsApp and Instagram—across the web and smartphone apps, collecting data on which sites and apps they visit, where they shop, what they like, and combining all that information into comprehensive user profiles. Facebook has maintained that collecting all this data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests. Privacy advocates have argued that the company isn’t transparent enough about what data it has and what it does with it. As a result, most people don’t understand the massive trade-off they are making with their information when they sign up for the ‘free’ site.
“On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, ruled that Facebook was exploiting consumers by requiring them to agree to this kind of data collection in order to have an account, and has prohibited the practice going forward.”
Full details may be found in an article by Emily Dreyfuss in the Wired web site at: https://www.wired.com/story/germany-facebook-antitrust-ruling/.
Update: Facebook maintains it’s collecting all of that data for your own good. They’re simply using their data sharing methods to protect you against terrorism and child abuse, according to a Facebook spokesperson. Seriously.