International Finance

Facebook content and user data policy violates German law

Facebook, Vzbv, German law
VZBV has filed a lawsuit against the company for default settings on user data

Facebook’s privacy settings and its data content policies are against German law, a Berlin regional court rules.

The Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV), a consumer organisation said the Facebook smartphone app services such as the activation of user’s location is preset. This means the user’s location is exposed to people on their chat list. The app’s relevant privacy settings are ‘hidden,’ and the specific features that allow the search engine to link to a user’s timeline are ticked.

The settings even enable Facebook users to search for personal user profiles. Facebook will appeal to the court rule, but explains that app changes will abide by the law.

“We are working hard to ensure that our guidelines are clear and easy to understand, and that the services offered by Facebook are in full accordance with the law,” the company said.

Facebook’s terms of service is invalid, and the court has ruled eight clauses in this matter of concern. Its terms of service includes data transmit to the US and use of personal data for the sake of commercial reasons.

However, VZBV will also appeal as its allegations in part were dismissed. Heiko Dünkel, legal officer at VZBV, said, “Consumers do not pay Facebook usage in euros, but with their data. And they bring a lot of money to the company.”

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