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German court finds Facebook's use of personal data to be illegal

Tyrone Stewart

FacebookA German court has ruled that Facebook’s use of personal data is illegal, due to the social media platform failing to obtain informed consent for the use of the data from its users.

According to Reuters, citing the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV), a Berlin regional court found parts of Facebook’s consent to data usage to be invalid after the German consumer rights group said the social network’s default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law.

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

Facebook has said it would appeal the decision of the Berlin court, despite parts of the judgement being in its favour, claiming it has made significant changes to its terms of service and data protection guidelines since the case was first presented in 2015.