Privacy rights activists are claiming victory on Facebook in German legal battle.
It follows a regional court ruling that found some of the social network’s data consent policies to be valid.
The Vzbv consumer group successfully argued that five of the services were enabled by default, privacy settings to “hidden”.
Facebook has the intention to appeal, but he believes that the planned changes to the application will ensure that it complies with the law.
Vzbv also plans to appeal because some of its other claims have been rejected.
These included a claim that it is misleading to Facebook to describe his service as “free,” because the users actually paid by the sharing of information about themselves.Amendment of the privacy act
The decision has been made by the Regional Court of Berlin, on 16 January, but has just been released by the Vzbv.
The consumer group of cases has been based on the country’s Federal Data Protection Act, which says that in order to gain the consent, the tech companies must be clear on the nature, scope and purpose of the way they use customer data.
The court agreed that Facebook had not done enough to alert people to the fact that he had pre-selected several privacy settings.
These included an option to share their location with the person they were chatting, and the agreement that Google and other websites may display links to their profiles in the search results.
In addition, the court has held that the requirement that users provide their real names, was illegal.
It was also decided that the social network needed to gain more explicit consent before you can use the names and profile pictures commercial and sponsored materials.
Vzbv says that the social network would need “users “informed consent” in the future as a result.New law imminent
The dispute dates back to 2015, and Facebook has suggested, the verdict has already been overtaken by events.
“We are reviewing this recent decision with care and are pleased that the court agreed with us on a number of issues,” he said in a statement.
“Our products and our policies have changed a lot since this case was brought up, and other changes to our terms and conditions and the data policy are planned for later this year in light of upcoming changes to the law,” he added, referring to the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The new law stipulates that the privacy notice must be in clear and plain language, and explicitly said that pre-ticked boxes and other forms of default of consent shall not be acceptable.
An independent lawyer said the new regulation would also affect the other.
“Regardless of this case and the subsequent appeal, we will probably see a shift away from these things anyway with the forthcoming GDPR, which comes into force on the 25 May,” said Anita Bapat, an expert on data protection at the firm Kemp Little
“The new law insists on the need to provide information to consumers about how their data are used in a consumer-friendly way and obtain a true consent.
“It is a law that compels all companies, ranging from Facebook to start-ups, to respond to their uses of the data,” she added.