Facebook Lost Its German Battle

16 February, 2018, 04:19 | Author: Devin Moran
  • A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina

Finally, in a piece for Wired, it was revealed that an employee was so concerned about being ratted out for talking to a reporter, he asked said reporter to turn off his phone so that Facebook would not be able to track his location. Informed consent for personal data collection and use are not adequate to comply with the law. Social media site has been collecting information from users through their traffic data and interests after that they link them with their respective ads which actually is the breach of Consumer law in Germany.

The new law states that privacy notices must be in clear and plain language, and explicitly says that pre-ticked boxes and other forms of default consent will not be acceptable.

"Facebook hides data protection-unfriendly presets in its privacy centre, without sufficiently informing [people] during registration", said Heiko Dünkel, Legal Officer at VZBV.

The verdict by a Berlin regional court was handed down in mid-January, and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZVB) disclosed it on Monday. Another clause required users to pledge to use only their real name and data on Facebook, which implicitly granted Facebook consent to process their data, said the VZBV. In Facebook's case, based on a total revenue of $27.6bn in 2016, the maximum possible fine would be $1.1bn. "This meant that anyone could quickly and easily find personal Facebook profiles", Vzbv noted.

A week after the Berlin court ruled against Facebook, the company said it would be making significant changes to its privacy settings in preparation for the European Union's sweeping new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), considered by many as the biggest overhaul of personal data privacy rules since the internet was born. We work hard to ensure that our policies are clear and easy to understand, and that all aspects of the Facebook Service are in compliance with applicable law.

An additional eight issues related to Facebook's Terms of Use were also deemed ineffective, including pre-approved consent statements that allowed a Facebook name and profile image to be used for "commercial, sponsored or related content", as well as being shared with the US.

VZBV also lost several points and also plans to appeal.

The group also sought to argue that Facebook's claim that its service is "free and always will be" is misleading, on the grounds that consumers are "paying" with their data.



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