Tech

Germany demands Facebook address NYT allegations

BERLIN — Germany urged Facebook today to “immediately” address allegations raised in a New York Times article about the social networking giants practice of sharing data with other companies.

“I demand of Facebook to immediately and fully resolve the allegations and to cooperate with data protections authorities,” German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said in an statement responding to questions from POLITICO.

Barley, a Social Democrat, added that she “had to assume that German users” were affected by the data-sharing practices.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that Facebook had for years maintained deals to share user data with dozens of other major companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Spotify, granting them higher levels of access than previously disclosed.

In her statement, Barley called practices uncovered in the report “another dimension of data abuse” and warned that “everyone who uses Facebook or the internet should know that companies like Facebook collect data about every user via tracking tools such as plug-ins or cookies.”

European data protection rules protected consumers against being “exploited as free data suppliers,” she added.

Irelands Data Protection Commission (DPC) is responsible for oversight of Facebook in Europe since May of this year under the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Asked about the New York Times article, a spokesperson for the DPC said in an emailed statement that the authority was “aware of the media reporting” and was “currently assessing what next steps, if any, are required.”

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