After Facebook disruption: Hamburg data protection officer calls for stricter regulations

After the global blackout of the main Facebook platforms, Ulrich Kühn, Hamburg’s acting data protection commissioner, called for more regulation of these services. The case has shown once again that the European versions of Facebook and WhatsApp are controlled centrally from the United States, he said in an interview with Augsburger Allgemeine. The independence of Facebook’s European offshoots was apparent and existed “mostly on paper”.

Therefore, Mr Kühn expects increasing efforts to hit the Facebook group on the fingers – there is even talk of a dismantling or separation of individual services. Mr. Kühn notably criticized Facebook’s continued efforts to use data from one service to another. The implementation of data protection requirements is now “a necessary first step”.

In the spring Johannes Caspar, then Hamburg’s data protection officer, used an emergency procedure to ban the merger of data from Facebook and Whatsapp. However, the European Data Protection Board (EDSA) had not given its agreement in July and had considered the Irish data protection authority, the Data Protection Commission (DPC), as responsible. Thus, the ban on Caspar could only be obtained for three months. Nevertheless, there was an agreement at EDSA, Kühn told Augsburger Allgemeine: The use of data jointly operated by Facebook could “only take place on the basis of a clear consent of the users concerned”.

In September, the Irish data protection regulator fined WhatsApp € 225 million. In question, the lack of transparency of the social media giant in the processing of data between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies. The company has already appealed against this decision. However, it may be a long time before a final decision is made.

In the meantime, some companies and organizations are also drawing their own conclusions about the data protection situation with Facebook’s services: just recently, for example, the DFB announced that it was banning WhatsApp for official communications due to problems. data protection.


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