Apple’s privacy policy breaches German data protection laws

By EDRi · May 22, 2013

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Deutsch: [Apples Datenschutzpolitik verstößt gegen deutsches Recht |]

The Berlin Regional Court ruled on 7 May 2013 that 8 of Apple’s privacy
policy clauses are infringing the German data protection laws and asked
the company to rectify them.

The case was brought to court by the German consumer rights group
Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV) which complained about 15 of
Apple’s privacy clauses. The German legislation allows recognized
consumer groups to sue companies over illegal terms and conditions.
Apple had already signed a binding declaration to stop using 7 of the 15
clauses before the German suit was filed, the remaining 8 being
invalidated by the court’s decision. The court’s decision reinforces
that Apple cannot use generalised or global consent for how it uses
its customers’ data. The company must specifically tell its customers
what the data is used for. The court also prohibited Apple to merge the
users’ data with other information it has as well as the exchange of
personal information with “affiliates” and “strategic partners” and the
processing of location data.

One of the things Apple argued in court was that the German law did not
apply because personal information was not collected by a branch office
in Germany, but the court rejected the argument stating that German
consumers were subject to the German Law. The decision is not final
therefore it can be appealed by Apple which made no statement in this sense.

Apple is also facing a privacy lawsuit in the U.S. over its
information-sharing practices, being accused of improperly collecting
data on its customers’ location through iPhones (even with the device’s
geo-location feature turned off) and of sharing personal information
with third parties.

Apple’s user data-sharing takes a hit in Germany after court objects to
privacy policy (8.05.2013)

Apple’s Customer Data-Privacy Rules Struck Down by German Court (7.05.2013)

Illegal Apple’s data clauses (only in German, 7.05.2013)

Landgericht Berlin: Apple’s privacy rules are partly unlawful (only in
German, 8.05.2013)