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German Court Strikes Down Sections of Apple's Privacy Policy

Privacy2A German court has ruled that eight provisions in Apple's privacy policy are inapplicable because they run afoul of German consumer protection laws, reports Bloomberg.

The lawsuit, between Apple and consumer protection group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV), related to Apple's request of its users for 'global consent' to use customers' data.

The German court appears to have struck down blanket policies that allow Apple to share personal information with other companies or use it for advertising, regardless of what the ultimate purpose is. Instead, to comply with German law, Apple will need to be more explicit about exactly what information is being shared, and what it will be used for.
A Berlin court struck down eight of 15 provisions in Apple’s general data-use terms because they deviate too much from German laws, a consumer group said in a statement on its website today. The court said Apple can’t ask for “global consent” to use customer data or use information on the locations of customers.
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Apple had previously agreed to void the other seven provisions that the VZBV had flagged as problematic. Instead, the company will need to let customers know "in detail what data is used for what purpose", instead of a single "global consent".

The full report is available in German from VZBV's website, or via Google Translate. It should be noted that this ruling only applies to Germany, not to the entire European Union.

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago

Apple should just buy Germany


Maybe they could buy the east part and build a walled garden around it?
:p
Rating: 27 Votes
16 months ago
Great that somebody is keeping an eye on what is in the privacy policy, because we are not......

Sad but true...
Rating: 27 Votes
16 months ago
I've seen far more pokes and jabs at Germany in this thread than people calling out that what they did was great. That is how standing up for the consumer, your citizens, differs from standing up for the big corporations who already have enough money to stand up for themselves. Privacy policies are a joke in the US, and when you agree to them you give away some of your own rights and freedoms.
Rating: 23 Votes
16 months ago
Apple should just buy Germany
Rating: 20 Votes
16 months ago

Ahhhh, privacy.

What a beautiful idea!

The same person who uses his/her cell phone any place, talks loud without regard for who is near and doesn't care who listens to the conversation is probably the one that needs to be protected!


Instead of blindly defending Apple, the article states that this relates to how customer data, and which data, are used and by whom. The German court states that Apple cannot request global consent and must instead specifically inform customers of this information.

Seems pretty fair, in my opinion.
Rating: 20 Votes
16 months ago
Bravo, Germany!
Rating: 19 Votes
16 months ago
Hopefully the EU will pick up on this and move forward with bringing this kind of ruling into force union wide.

On another note, I do enjoy how the EU gets US companies to abide by its rules. For example I got an 18 month old Mac repaired the other day that wasn't under Applecare. Just reminded them about the sale of consumer goods directive by the European Union and they stopped trying to charge me.
Rating: 17 Votes
16 months ago

but sometimes they just go too far, getting ridiculous. Like the Mac Pro fans disband.


Totally Apple's fault, no other company has had any problem to adapt their computers in the two years that they have had to do it
Rating: 17 Votes
16 months ago
I'm glad we have it.

Smart people get the information they need to be protected from being fckd 24/7 by companies. Not that smart people get info and help if everything went wrong and are able to go to court through "die Verbraucherzentrale". (consumer-central so to speak) afterwards.
That is what happened here.

From their Website:
The umbrella organisation, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv), represents the political, economic and social interests of consumers at the national level. Here you can find current information on consumer policy.

http://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/en/index.php

please excuse my rather bad english :p
Rating: 15 Votes
16 months ago
as if we won't be pressing "I agree" at whatever this company shelves out
Rating: 13 Votes

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