Facebook found in violation of privacy laws according to new court ruling

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Facebook has also come under fire for a smartphone app that comes pre-activated and reveals the user's location to the person they're communicating with. How can users make informed consent if they don't know what's going on?

Privacy rights campaigners are have won a legal battle against social media giant Facebook.

"Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy centre and does not provide sufficient information about this when users register", said Heiko Dünkel, litigation policy officer at vzbv, in a statement.

The VZBV also filed a motion claiming that the advertisement "Facebook is free" was misleading for consumers, arguing that consumers pay to use the social network with their data in lieu of cash.

Facebook is thinking of appealing against this rulling but hopes that the planned changes to the app will satiesfy the law.

The vzbv also successfully challenged Facebook's real names policy - which the Berlin regional court agreed was unlawful.

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Facebook's failure to obtain users' informed consent before collecting their data was illegal, a German court has said, as European authorities continue to scrutinize how tech companies use massive troves of data to send consumers targeted advertisements. In the privacy settings, ticks were already placed in boxes that allowed search engines to link to the user's timeline.

On January 16, a regional, Berlin-based court ruled that Facebook violates parts of the conditions of use and privacy against applicable consumer law. This meant that every Facebook profile was "quickly and easily findable".

A German consumer advocacy group has scored a win against Facebook over the way it uses consumer data.

Facebook, which is appealing the ruling, says many of its terms have changed since the suit was brought in 2015.

Facebook plans to appeal, stating that it has made significant changes to its terms of service and data protection guidelines since the case was originally brought, and will be in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation [text], which provides significant changes [text] in privacy laws.

It also decided that the social network needed to gain more explicit consent before it could use members' names and profile pictures in commercial and sponsored materials. We work hard to ensure that our policies are clear and easy to understand, and that all aspects of the Facebook Service are in compliance with applicable law.

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