Court rules Facebook’s privacy settings breached German data laws

Facebook found guilty

Facebook maintains changes have been made ahead of GDPR

A German court has ruled that Facebook’s privacy settings and use of personal data violated consumer laws as it failed to obtain adequate consent when the information was collected.

The court decided in favour of a German consumer rights group following its legal challenge against the US social media giant, finding that Facebook collects data on its users, and signs them up to services, without giving enough information for them to give meaningful consent.

The ruling was made on 16 January, however, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Vzbv) only publicised its victory this week.

“Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy friendly in its privacy centre and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register,” said Heiko Duenkel, legal officer at Vzbv. “This does not meet the requirement for informed consent.”

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