Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

German Court finds Facebook's personal data usage illegal

German Court finds Facebook's personal data usage illegal

Facebook shares ended in positive territory in the US Monday, amid news a German court recently ruled the social media platform has broken German privacy laws. A copy of the ruling has been shared by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations earlier today, revealing that the competent court found Facebook's privacy practices to be in violation of some consumer protections in the European country.

Vzbv also highlighted that Facebook's smartphone app contained a number of pre-ticked boxes that authorised a location service showing where users are when they are chatting with other people. VZBV claimed they were in breach of consumer law.

The Berlin court found that Facebook did not provide users enough information for them to understand how their data is being collected and that any agreements users signed did not constitute meaningful consent. "That is not sufficient for informed consent".

Key settings are activated by default when users sign up and were hard to find, making them invalid as declarations of consent. Facebook prevailed on a complaint that it was misleading to say the service was free, because as VZBV put it, consumers pay "with their data".

The court also ruled Facebook's authentic name policy illegal.

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Now, one in every six Americans owns a voice-activated speaker , according to research from NPR and Edison Research . Amazon .com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN ) announced that it had acquired Blink late previous year for $90 million.

It also rejected several other claims against provisions in Facebook's privacy policy - which vzbv said it intends to appeal in the Berlin Appeals Court.

"Facebook hides data protection-unfriendly presets in its privacy center, without sufficiently informing it during registration", Heiko Dünkel, legal officer at VZBV, said.

The Berlin court ruled that five data privacy issues around consent were ineffective and violated Germany's Federal Data Protection Act, which states that providers should give "clear and understandable information about the nature, extent, and objective of the use of the data". The social network issued a statement noting that the company's products and policies have changed since 2015 when the lawsuit was originally filed, and said it is introducing further amendments to its terms and conditions and privacy policies in light of upcoming legislative changes in the EU.

FACEBOOK HAS had a very bad week as its privacy and data usage comes under fire from three different angles.

Facebook content is not "so novel" as to preclude it from New York's "long-standing" rules of disclosure, wrote Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.


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