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Facebook breaking the law when collecting personal data

Facebook faces legal problems in Germany due to its data-collection practices, which were deemed illegal
Facebook faces legal problems in Germany
Although Facebook already filed an appeal, it is worth mentioning that the Berlin regional court ruled against its data-collection practices, saying that the default settings break the law, while some terms and conditions do not meet the legal standards needed to get the users' effective consent.

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The social network that many of my friends (and yours too, I guess) love to hate these days has just lost a court case in Germany, but they already filed an appeal. The reason behind the whole court case? Its terms of use and default privacy settings, thankfully. In many European countries, they are completely messing up the accounts of popular independent journalists, popular bloggers, or simply popular users with strong opinions while trying to put a stop to hate speech and fake news, but let's hope that someone will get to that as soon as possible as well.

This new court case revolves around the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (locally known as Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, or VZBV), which has already taken a few actions against the social network in the past. First, they did it against Facebook's Friend Finder tool and its user of users' photos in ads, then they targeted the data sharing between WhatsApp and the social network.

Now, the time has come for Facebook's data collecting policies to be condemned. Why? Well, the VZBV claims that Facebook is breaking the German data protection law by collecting personal data without allowing its users' to get easy access to the information needed to make informed choices. The default settings break the law by automatically sharing the users' location (Facebook mobile app), the users' profiles can be found through search engines by default, and eight of the Facebook's terms and conditions are too broadly phrased, thus not meeting the legal standards.

All in all, Facebook had it pretty good this time in Germany. Although we expect for them to fix these problems without being forced to pay damages or to take any radical measures, it is good to see that consumers are standing up for their rights. Maybe this will wake up some people in Facebook's offices and they will be more careful when banning accounts that were mass-reported simply because they opposed the wrong company, government, or some Facebook faction (if you're missing the Looney Tunes series by Warner Bros., you have to get on Facebook Groups for some real-life, contemporary loonies!).

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 02 > Facebook breaking the law when collecting personal data
Codrut Nistor, 2018-02-13 (Update: 2018-02-13)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.