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Andreas Mundt, the president of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, speaks during a press conference on Facebook. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP/Getty Images

Germany's competition regulator moved Thursday to ban Facebook from collecting certain types of consumer data without users' consent within the country, saying its data gathering was an "abuse" of its market power.

Why it matters: The decision isn't final but nonetheless represents the first major antitrust action against the social giant. It shows how questions about Facebook's dominance are tied to concerns about its users' privacy.

Details: The regulator said that Facebook couldn't associate data from accounts on WhatsApp or Instagram, which it owns, with accounts on its main platform unless a user agrees to it.

  • Users also have to agree to have data collected on them from third-party websites, the regulator said.
  • "With regard to Facebook's future data processing policy, we are carrying out what can be seen as an internal divestiture of Facebook's data," said Andreas Mundt, president of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, in a statement.

The other side: Facebook said it will appeal the decision, arguing that the German regulator "underestimates the fierce competition we face in Germany, misinterprets our compliance with GDPR and undermines the mechanisms European law provides for ensuring consistent data protection standards across the EU."

Go deeper: What Facebook knows about you

Go deeper

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, killing at least three people and wounding many others on Saturday afternoon, per a Liberty County Sheriff's Office statement to media outlets.

The big picture: Some 147 passengers and 13 crew were aboard the Empire Builder train, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, when five cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in an emailed statement. The National Transportation Safety Board said it's investigating the derailment.

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.