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Now it’s against the law for Facebook to use your personal data in Germany

Reuters

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A German consumer rights group said on Monday that a court had found Facebook’s use of personal data to be illegal because the U.S. social media platform did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users.

The verdict, from a Berlin regional court, comes as Big Tech faces increasing scrutiny in Germany over its handling of sensitive personal data that enables it to micro-target online advertising.

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzvb) said that Facebook’s default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law, and that the court had found parts of the consent to data usage to be invalid.

“Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy center and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register,” said Heiko Duenkel, litigation policy officer at the vzvb.

“This does not meet the requirement for informed consent.” The vzvb posted a copy of the ruling on its website. A court spokesperson confirmed that a judgment had been handed down but declined further comment.

FACEBOOK TO APPEAL

Facebook said it would appeal, even though several aspects of the court judgment had been in its favor. In a statement, it said it had already made significant changes to its terms of service and data protection guidelines since the case was first brought in 2015.

“We are working hard to ensure that our guidelines are clear and easy to understand, and that the services offered by Facebook are in full accordance with the law,” Facebook said.

Further, Facebook would in the meantime update its data protection guidelines and its terms of service so that they comply with new European Union-wide rules that are due to enter force in June.

Facebook, which counts more than 2 billion users worldwide, already faces scrutiny from Germany’s competition authorities over its handling of its users’ personal data.

The Federal Cartel Office, in an interim update on an investigation into Facebook, said in December that it objected to the way the company gains access to third-party data when an account is opened.

This includes tapping information from its own WhatsApp and Instagram products – as well as how it tracks which sites its users access.

One concern highlighted by the consumer rights group was that, in Facebook’s app for smartphones, a service was pre-activated that revealed the user’s location to the person they were chatting to.

Also, in the privacy settings, ticks were already placed in boxes that allowed search engines to link to the user’s timeline, meaning that anyone would be able quickly and easily to find a user’s profile.

“The judges ruled that all five of the default settings on Facebook that vzvb complained about are invalid,” the group said in a statement, adding that several other of Facebook’s terms of use were found to be illegal.

(Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Omarosa Is Convinced She Knows Who Wrote that Anonymous New York Times Op-Ed

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The former White House aide said she dug through her emails and she got herself some clues.

The Late Show host Seth Meyers might have said it best: So after Trump’s public praise of Vladimir Putin, his attorney general’s meetings with Russians, his campaign chairman’s money laundering, his deputy campaign chairman’s tax fraud, his personal fixer’s secret shell company, his national security adviser’s lies to the FBI, his son’s attempt to get dirt from a foreign adversary and son-in-law’s secret back channels with that adversary, the person who could end up taking down the president of the United States is Omarosa.

GIPHY

Omarosa is still making her press rounds to promote her book about her time in the White House. But aside from exclusive tapes questioning POTUS’s mental health, she’s now weighing in on that New York Times Op-Ed everyone’s talking about, where a senior official in the Trump administration anonymously claimed to be part of the resistance from within.

“I took some time and went back and looked through all of my emails, particularly emails out of the vice president’s office, because the first time I read the op-ed, it just seemed kind of familiar to me,” Manigault Newman told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “After looking at memos and correspondence from the vice president’s office, I’m pretty convinced that it came from that way. Not just because of the term ‘lodestar,’ but because of the style and tone of it.”

The person she said she narrowed it down to as a likely suspect was Nick Ayers, a political strategist who has served as Pence’s chief of staff since July 2017, is one of the vice president’s most trusted aides.

Trump said last week that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the essay, declaring it a breach of “national security.” Shortly after the piece was published, the president also raged on Twitter, likening the story to treason.

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18-Year-Old Solves Six Rubik’s Cubes Underwater in Single Breath

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Here’s one dude who’s unlikely to find trouble updating his Instagram bio.

Vado Marchelashvili, from the country Georgia, went underwater for one minute and 44 seconds and did something few can do above water with triple the time span. He solved six Rubik’s Cubes in one breath in an attempt to break a world record.

Officials with the Georgian Records Federation observed the teen as he attempted to break the now previous record-holder Anthony Brooks, who in 2014 solved five Rubik’s Cubes in a single breath, setting the world record at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

To prepare for the event, the teen said he trained several hours a day for six months. “I trained a lot planning to break a record — and to ensure my safety, because even a small mistake could be dangerous and life-altering,” he said following the event, Reuters reports.

“I think my result will stay as a record for a long time,” he added. “I hope to break many other records.”

One thing’s for sure: I won’t be the guy attempting to break that record.

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Drunk Dude Accidentally Takes 300 Mile Uber Ride

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Suddenly, I’m not as upset about my last drunk text.

Kenneth Bachman made it home to Sewell, New Jersey safely after a night of drinking his face off at a party earlier this year, thanks to a sober Uber driver. Thank God for Uber, right? But, once Kenneth made it home, the price tag of the blurry trip became clear: $1,635.93. Now’s probably a good time to mention the party he left was in Morgantown, West Virginia.

He explained to a Philly TV station he had been out with buddies near the campus of West Virginia University when he said he wanted to call it a night, so he ordered an Uber ride, which he didn’t quite recall doing, and then fell asleep.

“We went to a frat party and then went to the bar. I was getting drinks all night; I probably spent like $200 at the bar after already drinking all day,” said Kenneth. “Basically, I kinda just blacked out. The last thing I remember was being at the bar and then I just woke up in the Uber next to an older dude telling me I was an hour out from Jersey.”

Moral of the story? People in West Virginia party like fucking rockstars.

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