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German court orders Facebook to rein in data collection

A top German court on Tuesday ordered Facebook to stop merging data collected through its Whatsapp and Instagram subsidiaries or other websites unless users explicitly agree, in a legal victory for competition authorities.

The court said collecting data from any third-party websites and assigning it to Facebook would require consent. If such consent is withheld, Facebook would have to substantially restrict its collection and combining of data.

Germany has been at the forefront of a global backlash against Facebook, which faces increasing criticism that it is being used to spread political disinformation.

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