German Court Says Apple's Privacy Policy Conflicts with National Data Protection Law

By Ed Silverstein May 08, 2013

Apple’s privacy policy conflicts with a national data protection law, a German court has ruled. The policy relates to how data can be shared with company partners, news reports said.

Eight of 15 clauses in Apple's privacy policy appear to violate the data protection laws – and if it is not reversed on appeal, the ruling may force the company to revise its internal policies.

German consumer rights group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV) praised the judge’s ruling.

"The verdict shows the importance of privacy for consumers in the digital world," Gerd Billen, executive director of the VZBV, said in a statement quoted by ZDNet.

“The Berlin Regional Court has strengthened the rights of privacy of Apple's customers in Germany,” the VZBZ added in a statement.

In contrast to company policy, the group claims that consent forms are only valid when a consumer knows for what purpose the data is being used.

Apple can appeal the decision by the regional court.

Meanwhile, elsewhere Apple is already the defendant in a U.S. privacy lawsuit over its information-sharing practices, Bloomberg News reported. It was alleged in the lawsuit that Apple collected data on customer locations by using iPhones. Also, personal information on customers allegedly was shared with third parties, Bloomberg reported.

Additionally, in September a German court dismissed a lawsuit by Apple against Samsung, according to TechZone360. Apple claimed that Samsung and Google-owned Motorola Mobility infringed on its patents which are used in touchscreen technology.

The ruling was in contrast to last year’s U.S. decision when Samsung was found to be infringing on Apple patents, and Apple was awarded $1.05 billion after a lengthy and much-publicized trial held in California, TechZone360 reported.




Edited by Alisen Downey

TechZone360 Contributor

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