Facebook was slapped with a ruling in Germany today that limits how the social media giant can collect data across its multiple platforms, like WhatsApp and Instagram. And Facebook is not happy about it, to say the least. The company says 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 Facebook. Seriously.
Facebook insists that combining all of that data is actually great. In fact, the company says, it’s keeping everyone safe from stuff like terrorism and child abuse.
From Facebook’s statement this morning (emphasis ours):
Facebook has always been about connecting you with people and information you’re interested in. We tailor each person’s Facebook experience so it’s unique to you, and we use a variety of information to do this – including the information you include on your profile, news stories you like or share and what other services share with us about your use of their websites and apps. Using information across our services also helps us protect people’s safety and security, including, for example, identifying abusive behavior and disabling accounts tied to terrorism, child exploitation and election interference across both Facebook and Instagram.
By the end of Facebook’s statement the company leans heavily into the claim that everybody else is doing it, so why can’t they—which may be the most terrifying point.
“Every day, people interact with companies that connect and use data in similar ways. And all of this should be–and is–a legitimate area of focus for regulators and policymakers around the world. Yet the Bundeskartellamt is trying to implement an unconventional standard for a single company,” Facebook said.
Facebook has come under fire for playing fast and loose with the mountains of data that it has collected on users over the years. The story broke wide open in March of 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had used Facebook data to target Americans and help swing the 2016 presidential election for President Donald Trump. Since then Facebook has faced countless questions about its privacy practices from governments around the world. Most recently, Facebook was caught putting spyware on the phones of teenagers for “research” purposes.
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