It is time to regulate all Social media websites


Adding to Facebook’s legal troubles, the social media giant must rebuild its messaging apps or face ban in Germany. WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger could be banned in this country.


Facebook leaks phone numbers of 419 million users on unsecured server


Facebook’s family of messaging apps are extremely popular around the world, connecting billions of users. Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp together command a record number of user base, but soon these apps could be banned entirely in an important market over a legal scuffle.


Facebook recently lost a patent infringement case to BlackBerry, which could result in three most popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, getting banned in Germany. BlackBerry dragged the social media giant to the court for infringing its patent and the court had ruled in the favour of the Canadian company in nine cases.


“By the judgments, the offer and delivery of the aforementioned applications in the FRG are prohibited as far as they use the patent patents,” a spokesperson for the court said in a statement, GizmoChina reported.


The functions of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp infringe upon BlackBerry patents. But Facebook could find an alternative to the ban as it plans to rebuild the functions of the apps in question. Facebook was caught using iPhone’s camera as users scrolled through the news feed and claimed it was a bug.


Facebook has since acknowledged the bug in its iOS version of the app and a fix has been submitted, pending Apple’s approval. As per Facebook’s statement, the bug was introduced in the last update to the app last week, which was to fix an issue with the app launching in landscape mode


Clearly, Facebook won’t let its most popular messaging apps off the grid in Germany. Instead, it could find ways to avoid the ban by licensing the patents in question or rebuild all the three apps for Germany to avoid a legal discourse. Facebook was restricted from forcing its users to agree to the unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts.


“Users are often unaware of this flow of data and cannot prevent it if they want to use the services. We need to be rigorous in tackling the abuse of power that comes with data,” Germany’s justice minister, Katarina Barley, had said at the time.


Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook saying its popularity is not dominance. Facebook managed to block Germany FCO’s order against combining user data, which was seen as a major victory for the social media giant against regulators.