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Facebook Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

Facebook Sued Over App Center Data Sharing In Germany 55

An anonymous reader sends this quote from an IDG News report: "German consumer organizations are suing Facebook because the social network keeps sharing personal data with third-party app makers without getting explicit consent from users. Third party apps often want access to a users' chat as well as information about friends, personal contact information and the ability to post on a user's Facebook wall. But instead of asking users for permission, the apps available through Facebook's App Center just grant themselves access to the data, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV), said on Thursday. ... In the past, Facebook asked for user consent by showing a pop-up window that warned data was shared with third-parties, and a user had the choice to click on allow or not allow. But when the App Center was introduced that changed, said Michaela Zinke, policy officer at the VZBV. 'I'm very confused why Facebook changed it,' she said, adding that before Facebook complied with German law and now doesn't anymore."
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Facebook Sued Over App Center Data Sharing In Germany

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  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:22PM (#42217779)
    That Facebook is so brazenly whoring out their bitches (their users) to the johns (aka "third-party app makers"), or that so many users so willingly lay down and take it. I'm all for legalizing prostitution, so I am a bit torn, but the metaphor kinda breaks down when "the bitches" are unaware of what's being done to them.
  • by Lained ( 1078581 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:26PM (#42217831)
    No, we're not megalomaniac like the U.S. and we do know where our jurisdiction ends (basically at our borders).

    With that said, we do it for our own rights, inside our borders and under our legal jurisdiction.

    Sorry to disappoint you.

    Note: And saying "don't use it if you don't agree with their policy" doesn't cut it. If it's infringing in privacy rights, it'll still be infringing even if I don't use the service, as long as the service is available for us with that policy.

  • by Longjmp ( 632577 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:26PM (#42217837)

    I'm all for legalizing prostitution, ...

    Prostitution is legal in Germany

  • Re:US vs. EU privacy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @08:12PM (#42221521) Homepage

    I'm genuinely interested to know which areas you think the US is better in. As someone who lives in Europe, my perception is that neither the US government (any of its three branches) nor US big business has any interest at all in protecting the privacy of its own citizens, or pretty much any rights at all for anyone other than its own citizens.

    Well, for one Europe is many countries. In Norway I feel they're butting in on very many things, but always under the promise that it won't be used for anything bad:
    1. Probably the most telltale sign here in Norway is that we no longer need to submit our tax report. The government sends out a pre-filled report and unless you've got any objections you don't need to do anything. On it, the employers have reported your income, the property registry any properties, the car registry any cars, banks report wealth and interest income, any stocks or funds held on a Norwegian commodity account, you get your tax class, child benefits, pretty much anything and everything that's already in a registry about you somewhere. Most people actually don't need to change anything unless they have foreign holdings of some sort.
    2. Gambling machines are only permitted using personalized electronic user cards, which enforce a 400 NOK/day gambling limit to curb gambling addiction. Coincidentally, they have a huge registry of gamblers and how much they play, but they promise not to use it for anything bad.
    3. If I pay more than 10k NOK = 1780 USD to anyone in cash, I can be criminally punished as an accessory to their tax fraud, regardless of any actual knowledge. Big money transfers should always leave an electronic trace, but of course they promise to not use it for anything bad.
    4. Very many places now they've set up "average speed" speeding cameras that always photographs everyone and match them to find speeders getting too fast from A to B, while deleting the rest. At least that's what they say, but of course they promise not to use it for anything bad.
    5. Lately they've been very efficient in killing off physical tickets bought with cash in favor of personal electronic tickets, which together with electronic card readers mean they collect tons of data on your movement. Automated toll roads that simply take your picture rather than pay the toll with anonymous cash is already standard. But of course they promise to use it only for statistics and not for anything bad.

    I could probably go on for a long while like this and in almost every case the public accepts it because right now the safeguards seem pretty solid, the watchdogs reliable and the government dialed mostly towards good. But if the dial is ever set to evil, lord help us because what we do is becoming extremely transparent to the government. If there was ever a need to return to the old ways we might find they don't exist anymore. In that sense I have the impression that the US government is a bit more hands off, it's mostly the corporations that have pretty much free reign to collect data on you. Here in Europe the business interests are regulated more, but the government itself is eroding privacy fast, your privacy now very much depends on promises on how they'll not use your data.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham