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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Facebook: UOKiK proceedings

< previous | next > 29.12.2016

Facebook: UOKiK proceedings

UOKiK has launched preliminary proceedings to examine whether Facebook Ireland’s policy on collection and sharing users’ data might be an infringement of consumer rights

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is conducting a preliminary examination of standard agreements and rules of use on facebook.com. The analysis found grounds for launching preliminary proceedings concerning practices employed by Facebook Ireland. Among the reasons for concern are provisions that are unclear about how users’ data is collected and shared with other parties.  UOKiK also noted that the list of types of data collected is broad and vague, for example clauses on collection of “different kinds of information” about users for a “reasonable period of time”, and which state that the information can be shared with “the family of companies that are part of Facebook. This could mean that consumers might not be aware of the kind of data that is collected about them, how long it is retained, and precisely with whom the data may be shared.

- In the investigation we will be analysing the policy with regard to collection and sharing of user data and we will also examine whether the standard agreements might constitute an infringement of consumer rights in any other way UOKiK President Marek Niechciał said.

- similar measures are being taken in other countries. Countries in Europe are paying more and more attention to large-scale internet platforms which give the appearance of being free of charge, while the cost that consumers pay for using them is their personal data – the UOKiK President said.

One example is the German Bundeskartellamt, which is looking into whether Facebook is in violation of competition rules due to abuse of a dominant position.  In October the Italian competition regulator launched proceedings in light of data of users of WhatsApp being automatically shared with Facebook, while in France the personal data protection authority is taking action against the firm.

In Poland, the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection issued a decision in January 2016 ordering Facebook Polska to delete a user’s data that had been published.

The preliminary proceedings being conducted by UOKiK concern a case and are not directed towards a particular party. The information collected could lead however to charges being brought and proceedings being launched against a business undertaking regarding infringement of collective interests of consumers.

For more information for the media please contact:

Biuro Prasowe  UOKiK 
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
Tel. 22 55 60 430, 22 55 60 111
Fax 22 826 11 86
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

 

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