The German FCO/Facebook decision: implications for data privacy regulation

The German competition authority, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO“) last week announced the results of its investigation into Facebook for a novel abuse of dominance involving consent for its data collection. Whilst the full decision is not yet public, the FCO has published a background paper here. In short, the FCO found that Facebook had a dominant position in the German market for social networks, and abused this with its data collection policy. The FCO did not impose a fine on Facebook, but has instead required Facebook in the future to only use data from non-Facebook sources where it has users’ voluntary consent, the withholding of which cannot be used to deny access to Facebook. Facebook has announced that it will appeal. Continue reading

Data use: Protecting a critical resource

Described by some as the “new oil” for the digital economy, there is no doubt that data are now seen as critical for organisations to succeed. Data are a powerful and lucrative fuel for productivity. If not adequately protected, data are vulnerable to leaks that can cause widespread damage, and their true value is only realised once they have been processed and refined. They are, however, an almost infinite resource when compared with the finite supply of oil.

Data affect all businesses and industries, and dealing with data is an issue for the whole business as it affects every team within an organisation. In this article we examine:

  • Market trends in the ballooning use of data worldwide.
  • Some of the legal implications of dealing with data, particularly in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (679/2016/EU) (GDPR) which will apply from 25 May 2018, including in particular, GDPR compliance, cyber security and employee monitoring.

Click here for the full briefing.

A version of this article was first published as the lead feature in the January/February 2018 issue of PLC Magazine.

Continue reading