German Court Says Facebook is Illegally Using Users’ Personal Data

Facebook has been hit with more bad news as a German court has declared use of personal data by Facebook illegal.

The verdict was issued by a German regional court which identified the use of personal user data by the social media giant for advertising. It also judged that Facebook’s user policy on sign up doesn’t completely meet the informed consent rules of Germany.

German Rules and Facebook

According to the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzvb), Facebook’s default settings and several terms of use were in breach of consumer law. The regional court in Germany also found the way Facebook was asking users’ consent for using their data to be against the law.


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Heiko Duenkel, the litigation officer at VZVB said;

Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy center and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register. This does not meet the requirement for informed consent.

Another group in the case said that;

The judges ruled that all five of the default settings on Facebook that vzvb complained about are invalid.

Publicly Available Profiles

This group, in a case against Facebook, told that by default Facebook’s privacy settings allow search engines to link to user’s Facebook profile. This makes any profile accessible to anyone using the search engine.


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The Federal Cartel Office in Germany also showed some reservations over Facebook’s access to third party data. The Office objected to Facebook’s use of data from its other platforms as well, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, and how the website tracks the user’s activity outside Facebook.

Another problem was highlighted during these cases as well. It showed how Facebook, by default, showed the location of one user to another while chatting.

Will Facebook Appeal?

Facebook has announced that the company will appeal against the judgements issued against them. One thing to be noted here is that several rulings were in Facebook’s favor as well.

Along with appealing against the decision, Facebook said in a statement that company has worked on and is working on making the terms of use simple for everyone to understand. Since the case was brought to court in 2015, Facebook has made several significant changes to meet the regulations of data protection guidelines. The statement reads;

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.

Moreover, Facebook’s representatives said that the company will update its terms of use and data protection guidelines to meet with European Union-wide rules that will be applicable from June.

Via Reuters


  • FuriousNinja

    And people get triggered when some mobile manufacturer uses their data :D

    Meanwhile they are posting everything about their life on social platforms and Allah knows how they are using that info but no, nobody gets ‘triggered’ on that because ‘likes’ are life now ^^