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Consumer activists have made a success against Facebook before the Berlin District Court: The company has to change parts of its terms of use.

Privacy Policy: Facebook needs to adjust terms of use

Consumer activists have made a success against Facebook before the Berlin District Court: The company has to change parts of its terms of use.

Privacy Policy: Facebook needs to adjust terms of use

Facebook will have to change default settings for its services in Germany, and users may no longer be forced to use ir real names. The District Court of Berlin has found this in a judgement, which is not yet final (Az16 o 341/15). The company was sued by Consumer Central Federation (VZBV).

In view of Presets, court criticized that location service is already activated in Facebook app for mobile phones, which tells chat partners about ir whereabouts. In addition, settings for privacy have been preset by a check mark that search engines receive a link to chronicle of participant. This makes personal Facebook profile easy to find for everyone.

These preferences have now been declared illegal by District court. It is not guaranteed that options will be acknowledged by user at all.

The judges also declared eight clauses in terms of use to be ineffective. In small print, people who use Facebook must agree to fact that group has been able to use names and profile images of users "for commercial, sponsored or related content" and to forward ir data to USA.

Such pre-formulated declarations could not give effective consent to use of data, it is stated in judgment. Also prohibited was provision that Facebook users can only log on to service under ir real name. This, however, is in contradiction with Telemedia Act, whereby online services also have to allow anonymous participation, for example using a pseudonym. In opinion of District Court, clear name obligation was refore inadmissible because users were thus able to agree to use of this data.

Facebook has appealed

The VZBV wanted to let Facebook also be told to advertise that social network was free. Consumer advocates argued that users eventually paid with ir data. This argument was not followed by District Court. On or hand, VZBV wants to appeal.

Facebook has also appealed against verdict. In an opinion, group pointed out that Facebook's products and guidelines had changed a lot since beginning of process in 2015. In addition, in light of forthcoming changes in law, EU Data Protection Regulation will enter into force – furr changes to terms and conditions and Data protection directives are 2018.

The next instance is Chamber Court of Berlin, which corresponds to upper courts in or federal states.

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