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Facebook’s privacy standards are ruled illegal in Germany

FACEBOOK HAS had a very bad week as its privacy and data usage comes under fire from three different angles.

In Germany, a court ruled that Facebook had not sought the satisfactory consent of users before using their personal data.

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzvb) found that some of the terms and conditions were invalid or in breach of consumer law reports Reuters.

“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, Litigation Policy Officer at vzvb. “This does not meet the requirement for informed consent.”

Facebook, which is already under scrutiny from the German competition watchdog about its use of data, has said it will appeal, arguing that it had already done much to tackle this issues it was accused of since the case was brought.

Over in the US, the company has been accused of flouting Seattle state law on transparency of paid political advertising. Under the rules, any money received from a political cause must be explicitly declared.

When Seattle publication The Stranger asked Facebook, Google and the rest of the usual suspects for details on exactly what was spent by whom, who was targetted and what they saw, Facebook wasn’t able, or willing to do so and that it “doesn’t come close to meeting their public obligation”.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has already made promises to be more transparent about political advertising, but it seems that in this case it fell short of its own standards.

Finally, in a piece for Wired, it was revealed that an employee was so concerned about being ratted out for talking to a reporter, he asked said reporter to turn off his phone so that Facebook would not be able to track his location.

All in all, Facebook’s privacy is proving to be a huge concern and the lack of transparency surrounding it even more so. It speaks volumes of what Zuckerberg knows that the social networks know, that he keeps sticky-tape on his webcam.

The trio of trials comes two weeks after Facebook published its GDPR compliant ‘privacy principles’. µ

Source : Inquirer

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