Facebook: Data Protection

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the decision by Germany to block Facebook from merging data collected from its social platforms and third-party websites without voluntary user consent; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

No assessment has been made on the specific decision by Germany to block Facebook from merging data collected from its social platforms and third-party websites without voluntary user consent.

It is essential that people are confident their personal data will be protected and used in an appropriate way. The Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR is in place to ensure that companies who collect and use data do so appropriately with an appropriate legal basis.

In August 2016, the Information Commissioner investigated whether WhatsApp could legally share users’ data with Facebook. WhatsApp signed a public commitment not to share personal data with Facebook until the data protection concerns raised by the ICO were addressed. This agreement is available on the ICO's website.

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