As reported by Bild am Sonntag, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is concerned that Facebook users have not consented to be tracked across the internet when they signed up for the firm’s offerings. The German authority is expected to issue its conclusions in the coming weeks. If the case made by this authority is compelling, a wider investigation by the European Union would be likely to follow according to the Washington Post.
Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.