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Does Europe close the antitrust rule for surveillance technologists? – TechCrunch



The decision of the German Federal Cartel Office to order Facebook to change this week's personal data is a sign that the antitrust flood can ultimately turn against the power of the platform.

One of the sources of the European Commission we talked about that personally described it as "clearly innovative" and "big deal", even if Facebook would not be punished for fines.

The FCO decision prohibits the social network from linking user data to different platforms it belongs to unless it obtains people's consent (nor can it use its services dependent on such consent). Facebook also prohibits the collection and linking of user data from third-party sites, such as tracking pixels and social plugins.

The order is not yet valid and Facebook is attractive, but it should be attractive to make the social network de facto weaken when its platforms sound at the data level.

In order to comply with the order, Facebook should ask users to give their free consent to the data the company is not currently doing

Yes, Facebook could still manipulate the results that it wants from users. however, this would allow it to continue to deal with EU data protection law as its current approach to consent is already being challenged.

EU updated privacy system, GDPR requires consent to be specific, informed and freely given. This standard challenges the Facebook (still fixed) entry "price" for your social services. To play, you still have to agree to transfer your personal data to advertise your advertisers. However, legal experts say that neither privacy, design, nor default.

The only alternative to Facebook is to tell users that they can delete their account. Not that it is, the company will still stop you all over the core network. The Facebook tracking infrastructure is also included in the wider Internet, so it also describes non-users.

EU data protection regulators are still investigating numerous GDPR complaints related to consent.

has been in contact with privacy authorities with Facebook data collection surveys, calling it "abusive abuse", as well as keeping a monopoly position on the social service on the German market.

So now there are two lines: the legal attack ̵

1; antitrust and privacy law – threatens Facebook (and, among other things, other adtech companies) -based business model across Europe.

A year ago, the German antitrust authority also published an inquiry into the online advertising sector in response to concerns about market transparency.

Data Limits

Due to the high paltry fines attributed to the German FCO order against Facebook, this week's story is missing less than the headline than the recent Google fines handed to the European Commission – For example Last summer has released a record $ 5BN fine for anti-competitive behavior related to the Android mobile platform.

But the decision is undoubtedly the same, if not on the structural tools ordered by Facebook. These remedies were similar to the internal breakdown of the company – the internal separation of multi-platform products at the data level.

This, of course, contradicts the desired trajectory of the (ad) platform giants that has long been demolished; mobilizing user data from multiple internal (and indeed external) sources without complying with the concept of informed consent; and find all personal (and sensitive) items to create identity-related profiles to train algorithms that predict (and some claim to manipulate) individual behaviors.

Because if you can predict what a person is going to do, you can choose which ad will help increase your click. (Or, as Mark Zuckerberg says, "Senator, we are showing ads.")

This means that regulatory interference, which hinders the giant of ad technology to connect and process personal data, seems to be really interesting. Because Facebook, which cannot connect to data points through its rapidly expanding social empire – or indeed across the core network, would not be such a huge giant in terms of data insights. And so, care supervision

Each of its platforms would be forced to be more discreet (and, well, discreet) kind of business.

Competing with data-poor platforms with a shared owner – instead of one connected mega-monitoring network – is also starting to sound almost possible. It suggests resetting the game if it is not fully matched

(since in the case of Android the European Commission has not provided any specific remedies to allow Google to make "fixes" to form the most self-solving "fix" Meanwhile, he may think.)

Meanwhile, just look at where Facebook is now aiming: The technical backend unification of various social products

The merger would collapse even more borders and completely open the platforms that started as completely separate products. it was previously folded into the Facebook empire (let's not forget the tracking information)

Facebook's plan to unite its products on one backend platform is very similar to the attempt to thwart technical hurdles for antitrust hammers. At least, it is harder to imagine if a company is split up if its several individual products are combined into a single backend that crosses and combines data flows.

Facebook has unexpectedly wanted to technically unite its dominant social networking community (Facebook Messenger; Instagram; WhatsApp) is a growing tumble of calls for competitive technology giants.

It has been developed for many years as a market power – and even a democracy with a denting potential – giants of observation capitalism data look at the picture.

Calls for technology giants no longer make sense. Regulators regularly ask whether it is time. Margrethe Vestager, Chief Competition Officer of the European Commission last summer, handed Google the most recent enormous anti-trust penalty.

Then her response was that she was not sure that Google's violation was the right answer. Remedies that allow competitors to exit, as well as highlighting the importance of legislation to ensure "transparency and honesty in business relations".

However, it is interesting that the idea of ​​the destruction of technology giants is now as good as a political theater that shows successful consumer technology companies that have long enjoyed the glossy convenience-based marketing statements that have ever been saccharin, detaining "free "The lack of services has lost a great lack of populist attraction,

From terrorists' incitement to hatred, electoral disturbance, child abuse, bullying, abuse.

Public attitudes towards technology giants have matured because of the "cost" of their "free" services. In addition, companies are set up. People do not see the next generation of cuddly capitalists, but other multinationals; Highly polished but distant money-making machines that occupy more than they return to the public they are being supplied to

Google's trick to naming every Android iteration after the next sweet treatment gives an interesting parallel (as well as current) understanding to society about sugar, paying more attention to health issues. What does his sick sweetness mask do? And after the sugar tax, we now have politicians calling for a social media tax.

This week, the deputy chief of the main opposition party in the UK urged the creation of a separate Internet regulatory system that could put an end to technology monopolies

The breakdown of well-oiled, asset-concentration machines is the winner of populist voting. And companies that political leaders have tried to bring to and seek for PR are considered to be political baskets; Invited to troubled baking groups to invite hard-rooted committees or verbally to the top public pots. (Although some non-democratic heads of state still want to press the enormous meat of technology.)

In Europe, Facebook's repeated requests from last year's UK parliament that Zuckerberg faced policymakers would certainly not be noticed.

] Zuckerberg's empty chair in the DCMS committee has become both an inability of the company to accept wider social responsibility for its products and a sign of market failure; such a powerful CEO does not feel responsible to anyone; neither is it most vulnerable to consumers nor their elected representatives. Thus, UK politicians are making political capital on both sides of the road in terms of cutting down on technological giants

The political fall of Cambridge's analytical scandal is far from being achieved

The UK regulator could successfully block the regulator hammer a global giant, such as Facebook, headquartered in the US. However, policymakers have already gone beyond the dissemination of public opinion and like to talk about it

This means that the sea situation has changed compared to the neoliberal consensus that has allowed competition regulators to sit on their hands for more than a decade, as technology has quietly increased human data and rival competitors rather, it has fundamentally changed the marketplace for gigantic giants with highly variable start-ups, with Internet data networks, to seal users and buy or block competing ideas.

to go there, and a mechanism can now be formed to break the market distortion of the platforms.

The traditional antitrust tool that helps to break a business on its business lines still seems to be difficult when faced with the pace of digital bladder technology. This problem is fast enough that the business has not yet been reconfigured to be able to travel again.

The Commission's antitrust decisions on the tech beat have made an impressive Vestager watch. However, she still feels looking at the paper pusher too over her chest to try to catch the sprinter. (And Europe did not go as far as trying to build a platform.)

However, the German FCO decision against Facebook indicates an alternative way to regulate the dominance of digital monopolies: structural measures aimed at accessing data that can be compared Vestager whose term as EC Competition Manager can be completed this year (even if other roles of the Commission remain potentially and tantamount) states that he mentions himself.

Interview on BBC Radio 4 Today in December. she poured cold water into a stockpile question about the breakthrough of technology giants. access to data and resources as a means to limit their power. This is exactly what the German FCO has done in its order on Facebook.

At the same time, the renewed European data protection framework has focused on the level of financial sanctions that can be imposed for major violations. However, the regulation also includes data monitors who can restrict or prohibit processing. In addition, this power could be used to redesign the business model of downsizing or to completely remove such a business

The combination of privacy and antitrust issues is really just a reflection of the complexity of the challengers that are now facing, trying to consolidate digital monopolies. However, they are trying to overcome this challenge.

In an interview with TechCrunch last autumn, European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, told us that block privacy regulators are seeking to work with antitrust agencies more generally to respond to platform power. "Europe would like to speak with one voice not only in the area of ​​data protection, but also with the aim of this digital dividend, of monopolies, not of individual sectors," he said. "But the most important is the first joint execution and better cooperation."

The German FCO decision is tangible proof that regulatory cooperation, which could ultimately weaken technology giants, is proof

this week, Buttarelli said: "Competition authorities do not need to other areas of law; they simply have to become an identity when the most powerful companies make a bad example and harm the interests of consumers. Data protection authorities can help with this assessment.

He also had his own forecast for surveillance technologists, a warning: "This case is the tip of the iceberg – all digital information ecosystem companies that rely on observation, profiling and application should be warned.

So perhaps, finally, the regulators found out how to move and stop things quickly.


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