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Old May 7, 2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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German Court Strikes Down Sections of Apple's Privacy Policy




A German court has ruled that eight provisions in Apple's privacy policy are inapplicable because they run afoul of German consumer protection laws, reports Bloomberg.

The lawsuit, between Apple and consumer protection group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV), related to Apple's request of its users for 'global consent' to use customers' data.

The German court appears to have struck down blanket policies that allow Apple to share personal information with other companies or use it for advertising, regardless of what the ultimate purpose is. Instead, to comply with German law, Apple will need to be more explicit about exactly what information is being shared, and what it will be used for.
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A Berlin court struck down eight of 15 provisions in Apple's general data-use terms because they deviate too much from German laws, a consumer group said in a statement on its website today. The court said Apple can't ask for "global consent" to use customer data or use information on the locations of customers.
Apple had previously agreed to void the other seven provisions that the VZBV had flagged as problematic. Instead, the company will need to let customers know "in detail what data is used for what purpose", instead of a single "global consent".

The full report is available in German from VZBV's website, or via Google Translate. It should be noted that this ruling only applies to Germany, not to the entire European Union.

Article Link: German Court Strikes Down Sections of Apple's Privacy Policy
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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Ahhhh, privacy.

What a beautiful idea!

The same person who uses his/her cell phone any place, talks loud without regard for who is near and doesn't care who listens to the conversation is probably the one that needs to be protected!
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:50 PM   #3
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Great that somebody is keeping an eye on what is in the privacy policy, because we are not......

Sad but true...
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:51 PM   #4
needfx
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as if we won't be pressing "I agree" at whatever this company shelves out
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:52 PM   #5
jonAppleSeed
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Apple should just buy Germany
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jonAppleSeed View Post
Apple should just buy Germany
Maybe they could buy the east part and build a walled garden around it?
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:59 PM   #7
dannyp1996
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Hopefully the EU will pick up on this and move forward with bringing this kind of ruling into force union wide.

On another note, I do enjoy how the EU gets US companies to abide by its rules. For example I got an 18 month old Mac repaired the other day that wasn't under Applecare. Just reminded them about the sale of consumer goods directive by the European Union and they stopped trying to charge me.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:59 PM   #8
antonis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonAppleSeed View Post
Apple should just buy Germany
That would be the worst 100 dollars ever spent by Apple.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyp1996 View Post
Hopefully the EU will pick up on this and move forward with bringing this kind of ruling into force union wide.

On another note, I do enjoy how the EU gets US companies to abide by its rules. For example I got an 18 month old Mac repaired the other day that wasn't under Applecare. Just reminded them about the sale of consumer goods directive by the European Union and they stopped trying to charge me.
Yes and no. I do agree that EU has some regulations that feels nice to be reminded to some US companies, indeed, but sometimes they just go too far, getting ridiculous. Like the Mac Pro fans disband.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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MacRumors ought to have a separate court reporting section

Things will be fought about in courts, lawyers will get rich, but will anything ever really get better?
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:04 PM   #10
Millah
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Is Apples privacy policy really any different from any other company? Google, Microsoft, Nokia? Granted, I hold Apple to a different standard and expect them to inform customers what data is being collected and where it goes, especially considering Steve Jobs last appearance at D and his response on privacy; "privacy means asking a person and letting them know precisely what you're doing with they're data." Apple has not been doing this, and its slightly disappointing. They're better than most other companies, but not quite where Steve Jobs said they should be, in terms of informing customers. I feel like they could have truly stood out with practices that are unheard of.

My question is, does the German courts strike down on Google or other companies, who I'm sure have privacy practices that are likely very similar or worse.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:08 PM   #11
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Die (The; not to die) Verbraucherzentrale

I'm glad we have it.

Smart people get the information they need to be protected from being fckd 24/7 by companies. Not that smart people get info and help if everything went wrong and are able to go to court through "die Verbraucherzentrale". (consumer-central so to speak) afterwards.
That is what happened here.

From their Website:
The umbrella organisation, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv), represents the political, economic and social interests of consumers at the national level. Here you can find current information on consumer policy.

http://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/en/index.php

please excuse my rather bad english
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderhawks View Post
Ahhhh, privacy.

What a beautiful idea!

The same person who uses his/her cell phone any place, talks loud without regard for who is near and doesn't care who listens to the conversation is probably the one that needs to be protected!
people still use a phone to make calls?
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonis View Post
but sometimes they just go too far, getting ridiculous. Like the Mac Pro fans disband.
Totally Apple's fault, no other company has had any problem to adapt their computers in the two years that they have had to do it
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:16 PM   #14
Mike8833
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Originally Posted by bushido View Post
people still use a phone to make calls?
In Germany you'll have to if you're in a contract with the "Telekom" (T-Mobile).
Bandwith limitation while mobile makes it impossible and also they go back in time and kill the good old flatrate contracts for home use, so using skype or sth. similar at home via WLAN won't be fun by being limited to 348/kbps (from DSL 50.000)

Politicians and the Bundesnetzagentur argue against it and will prove if net neutrality is kept or not. (its rather not, because their own services are not limited)
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:17 PM   #15
zin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderhawks View Post
Ahhhh, privacy.

What a beautiful idea!

The same person who uses his/her cell phone any place, talks loud without regard for who is near and doesn't care who listens to the conversation is probably the one that needs to be protected!
Instead of blindly defending Apple, the article states that this relates to how customer data, and which data, are used and by whom. The German court states that Apple cannot request global consent and must instead specifically inform customers of this information.

Seems pretty fair, in my opinion.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:18 PM   #16
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I've seen far more pokes and jabs at Germany in this thread than people calling out that what they did was great. That is how standing up for the consumer, your citizens, differs from standing up for the big corporations who already have enough money to stand up for themselves. Privacy policies are a joke in the US, and when you agree to them you give away some of your own rights and freedoms.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike8833 View Post
In Germany you'll have to if you're in a contract with the "Telekom" (T-Mobile).
Bandwith limitation while mobile makes it impossible and also they go back in time and kill the good old flatrate contracts for home use, so using skype or sth. similar at home via WLAN won't be fun by being limited to 348/kbps (from DSL 50.000)

Politicians and the Bundesnetzagentur argue against it and will prove if net neutrality is kept or not. (its rather not, because their own services are not limited)
i was actually being sarcastic because most people rather text for 10 hours straight then sorting everything out within 5 mins over the phone nowadays (im no exception)

----

and where are all those people always complaining about google and the customer being their product? they dont care when its apple of course
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Millah View Post
My question is, does the German courts strike down on Google or other companies, who I'm sure have privacy practices that are likely very similar or worse.
Actually they had to pay 145.000 € for copying info from unprotected WLAN's.

http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/goog...strafe100.html

(translate it via >> Google XD)
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:23 PM   #19
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Bravo, Germany!
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Millah View Post
Is Apples privacy policy really any different from any other company? Google, Microsoft, Nokia? Granted, I hold Apple to a different standard and expect them to inform customers what data is being collected and where it goes, especially considering Steve Jobs last appearance at D and his response on privacy; "privacy means asking a person and letting them know precisely what you're doing with they're data." Apple has not been doing this, and its slightly disappointing. They're better than most other companies, but not quite where Steve Jobs said they should be, in terms of informing customers. I feel like they could have truly stood out with practices that are unheard of.

My question is, does the German courts strike down on Google or other companies, who I'm sure have privacy practices that are likely very similar or worse.

Having worked with collection of consumer data world-wide before, Apple had to know this wasn't going to fly. Germany has fantastic consumer protection laws for privacy and companies work around those laws in their products in the industry. One of the big ones in Germany is the ability to remove customer data outside of the country and the inability to use PII (personal identifying information) like IP addresses or EIDs. It looks like Apple was just hoping no one would notice here and they bet wrong there. I wish the US would take consumer privacy seriously, but companies here would never allow it.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=bushido;17241275]i was actually being sarcastic because most people rather text for 10 hours straight then sorting everything out within 5 mins over the phone nowadays (im no exception)

Ich schreibe auch lieber als ständig mit aussetzern nachzufragen was denn die gegenseite gesagt hat
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:36 PM   #22
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So lately the Germans are trying to be in the news. I wonder if all these moves are sponsored by their Tourism Office; not the best promotion, but at least they are being noticed.

----------

[QUOTE=Mike8833;17241322]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bushido View Post
i was actually being sarcastic because most people rather text for 10 hours straight then sorting everything out within 5 mins over the phone nowadays (im no exception)

Ich schreibe auch lieber als ständig mit aussetzern nachzufragen was denn die gegenseite gesagt hat
LOL, so you like to put on flames on both sides of the discussion?
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:37 PM   #23
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Apple should have seen this coming. If there is one thing Germany (and the E.U.) are known for...it's privacy. :sarcasm:
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:40 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mike8833 View Post
Actually they had to pay 145.000 € for copying info from unprotected WLAN's.

http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/goog...strafe100.html

(translate it via >> Google XD)
Unprotected? Anything Unprotected is considered public.

It's comparable to a house with no doors and a sign that reads "Welcome".

Or like leaving your wallet on a park bench on purpose.

If you want privacy, start by protecting your WiFi; it's the obvious thing to do!
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:40 PM   #25
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jeeze so many ignorant people on here. lets focus on the topic shall we
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