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Court Rules Facebook Violates Users’ Rights With Illegal Default Privacy Settings and Data Sharing

Court Rules Facebook Violates Users’ Rights With Illegal Default Privacy Settings and Data Sharing

A German court has ruled that Facebook is breaching data protection rules with privacy settings that “over-share” by default and by requiring its users to give their real names, a consumer rights organization said, AFP reported.

According to German law, one’s own personal information can only be stored and used by a company who has an agreement from the individual.

However, Berlin judges ruled Facebook leaves many of its settings that may be seen as “privacy invasive” switched on by default, failing to offer users an essential choice about how their data is used by the company, plaintiffs for the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) said.

“Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy centre and does not provide sufficient information about this when users register,” VZBV legal expert Heiko Duenkel said.

The judges found that at least five different default privacy settings for Facebook were illegal, including sharing location data with its chat partners WhatsApp and Instagram or making user profiles available to external search engines, allowing anyone to search and find information on a person.

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