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Berlin court rules Facebook use of personal data illegal

A regional court in Berlin has found Facebook’s use of personal data to be illegal because the US social media platform did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users, according to a German consumer rights group. The verdict comes as Big Tech faces increasing scrutiny in Germany over its handling of sensitive personal data that enables it to micro-target online advertising, Reuters reports. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzvb) said that Facebook’s default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law. The court had also found parts of the consent to data usage to be invalid, it added. “Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy center and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register,” according to Heiko Duenkel, litigation policy officer at the vzvb.