A local German court ruling against Facebook Inc.'s default privacy settings and terms of service elements provides insight into how companies should deal with the upcoming European Union privacy regime, a data protection attorney told Bloomberg Law.
“The ruling is a good litmus test for how data protection regimes will apply in the real world,” said Scott Vernick, a partner at Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia specializing in data privacy and the EU General Data Protection Regulation taking effect May 25. “It’s a harbinger of things to come.”
The ruling may have limited, long-term impact as precedent because the German law at issue will be supplanted by the GDPR.
Still, it makes clear that data giants such as Facebook and Alphabet Inc.'s Google must match their operations to the GDPR’s new consent requirements, Nina Diercks, a data protection attorney based in Hamburg, told Bloomberg Law.
The German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) requires that online services provide users with clear, easy-to-understand information about the intended use of their collected data—standards echoed in the GDPR.
The German ruling makes clear that a company needs “hard and express consent” for each way data is collected and used, and policies need to be communicated in an upfront, clear, and user-friendly manner, Vernick said.
Facebook, though, may be able to fix the court-identified problems with relative ease.
The social media company, in a statement provided to Bloomberg Law, said its “products and policies have changed a lot since this case was brought, and further changes to our terms and Data Policy are anticipated later this year in light of upcoming changes to the law.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Jabeen Bhatti in Berlin at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)