German Court Strikes Down Apple’s User Data Privacy Provisions

Is Samsung clutching at straws?

Apple has been facing a number of privacy issues and lawsuits in the U.S. for the last year or so, but things aren’t going any better abroad either. A German court ruled that Apple will have to change some of its practices for how it handles consumer data.

The Berlin court recently struck down 8 of 15 provisions Apple’s listed in its general data-use terms. The court found that the 8 terms deviate too much from German laws because Apple is asking for “global consent” to use consumer data without telling them how the data will be used.

Apple is being sued by the German consumer protection group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV), over the way Apple requests global consent for users’ data. VZBV accused Apple of improperly collecting data on the locations of customer’s through iPhones, even after the device’s geo-location feature was turned off.

Apple already signed a deal stating it wouldn’t use 7 of the offending 15 clauses the VZBV objected to, and the remaining eight provisions were invalidated by the court’s ruling today. Apple hasn’t commented on the ruling yet, but it’s expected that Apple will file an appeal.

The ruling is only applicable in Germany and not the entire EU, but from now on Apple has to let users know in detail what data is used for and for what purpose. Apple also is not allowed to ask users permission to use names, addresses, and phone number of users’ contacts.

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  • technochick

    Apps already individually have to ask for access to data by data type per rules Apple set. The locations, if they are taking about the cache on your phone of towers etc, isn’t collected by Apple anymore if it ever was. And Apple has never used your contacts data outside of things like when you voluntary signup for Find my Friends and friend someone.

    So what exactly was this group suing about

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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