back to article Facebook smartmobe app's pre-ticked privacy settings violate German data protection law

A German court has ruled that Facebook has not done enough to alert people to the pre-ticked privacy settings on its mobile app. That included an option to share location data when in conversation with another user, and agreement that Google and other search engines could show links to user profiles in search results. …

  1. KeepCalm

    vorbeugen

    As insane as the Germans are on other social policies, they never bend over for Uncle Sam the way the UK does. Good on them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: vorbeugen

      "As insane as the Germans are on other social policies".

      Please tell me a bit more about those other social policies, I might agree or not, so help me out.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: vorbeugen

      And German news was reporting that Facebook is also not allowed to share users information with third parties (at all), the pre-ticking of that option is one thing, but the option itself is illegal, according to the press coverage of the case.

  2. unwarranted triumphalism

    If only there was some way of not using something you ddn't like. But I'm sure it's someone else's fault, because after all it's just too much bother to take responsibility for your own online security.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      It has nothing to do with taking responsibility for your own online security, but that Facebook is breaking the law with its current settings and practices.

      1. Wulfhaven

        In the case of facebook, you have no ability to opt out, as you are dragged into their spying datasets through means of friends and relatives no matter your own opinion on the matter, or use of their horrible product.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      I take it you believe a constantly changing settings page with constantly changing defaults, a la Facebook and Google, helps you achieve that?

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "If only there was some way of not using something you ddn't like. "

      In the case of Facebook, there isn't. Allow me to introduce you to the concept of shadow profiles.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    If they're "pre-ticking" the choices then why are they even bothering to show this screen? Oh..the law. Still, I'd have to agree with the court... I can see "(recommended)" on one choice without the tick being there so it does force some action (with or without deep thinking by the user) to make the choice.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      "recommended" dosent help me. Is it recommended because that means they capture more data and make more profit? or recommemded for my benefit to restrict data and improve safety?

  4. fluffybunnyuk

    I cant wait for the full GDPR enforcement rollout. I keep watching sites with non-compliant models i.e. almost all, and waiting for the meltdown on realisation the consent has to be granted. Watching them squirming about 3rd party, and self-justification.

    Changed mine already, no cookies, no personal data, no tracking...simples

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Another thing I'm waiting to see is the much more common appearance of a 'Delete my Account' button on the account details page of websites that require users to login.

      It seems to me that this is needed for compliance with the GDPR Right To Be Forgotten clause, but so far I don't remember seeing it on any website I use regularly. Of course, its reasonable for a website to refuse to action this button while there are outstanding transactions or where the account balance is non-zero, but I can't think of any other reasonable exceptions to immediate deletion of the account and all personally identifiable details in it.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        "but I can't think of any other reasonable exceptions"

        If you've paid us we need to keep records for seven years to comply with tax audit requirements.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          If you've paid us we need to keep records for seven years to comply with tax audit requirements.

          So how does the local sweetshop mange that? or MachineMart? I could happily spend a couple of K in there anonymously.

          1. Adam 52 Silver badge

            They know that you were physically in the UK because that's where their shop is. And you paid cash so their cash records will balance at the end of the day.

            If you buy online the vendor needs proof of which country you were in so that they can charge, and be audited, the correct tax rate. And they need to prove that the credit card transaction matches the invoice amount.

            Such are the rules of VAT accounting, and you don't mess with whoever Customs and Excise are these days because they have all sorts of powers to shut you down.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I keep watching sites with non-compliant models i.e. almost all, and waiting for the meltdown on realisation the consent has to be granted. "

      The one I particularly want to see go down in flames is Linkedin.

      10 "invitations" and "reminders" this week alone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Facebook said it will appeal against the decision'

    Hold on... Doesn't pre-ticking go against GDPR and Facebook's promises of adhering to it... Oh wait, Zuk is the local community data-perv sociopath...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to get stuffing those turkeys

    Plenty of réseaux exist for creating false profiles. Time to start throwing plenty sabots a-merry, ken? No?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    If there is a way to spoof a mobile device to make it appear to app developers that the user is located in a country with strict privacy laws?

    (I was also going to say underage but that doesn't seem to matter to some companies: *cough* VTech, *cough* Disney *cough*)

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I wonder...

      " make it appear to app developers that the user is located in a country with strict privacy laws?"

      Or California.

  8. Gamrith

    German Overbearance again

    And again the dupliciticious Germans are putting up blocks to nongerman companies and disguise it as dataprotection or some such guff! They are just trying to hurt commerce and further their goals of making the EU a ghetto!

    1. fran 2

      Re: German Overbearance again

      Not sure if serious or....

  9. adam payne

    A German court has ruled that Facebook has not done enough to alert people to the pre-ticked privacy settings on its mobile app.

    Pre-ticked privacy settings sounds a little like Microsoft and their Windows 10 privacy settings until they were forced to change it.

    Of course there will be those who argue that it's your own responsibility to check but if the person isn't told and the settings are just pre-ticked how are people supposed to my an informed decision.

    The pre-ticked privacy options are unacceptable and need to go.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022