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Hamburg Court Bans Facebook From Using Personal Data of German WhatsApp Users

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Social media - Sputnik International
BERLIN (Sputnik) - Facebook cannot use the personal data belonging to German users of the WhatsApp messenger, as the social network does not have users' consent, as required by German law, according to a ruling of the Supreme Court of Hamburg.

The Supreme Court upheld an April ruling of a lower court. Hamburg’s Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar, the plaintiff, told the DPA news agency that he was satisfied with the "great success," commenting on the ruling.

READ MORE: German Watchdog Warns Facebook of Sanctions Over User Data Exploitation

In September 2016, Caspar issued an administrative order prohibiting Facebook from collecting and storing information of German WhatsApp users and requiring the social network to delete data already obtained from the messenger. He stated that when Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, both companies said that there would be no exchange of personal data between them.

READ MORE: Germany's 'Hate Speech' Law May Evolve Into Wide Censorship — Watchdog

Facebook contested the ruling in court in order to avoid legal difficulties in changing data privacy policies but ultimately lost the case. Facebook wanted to collect data from the messenger to improve its targeted ads.

Earlier in February, a German court authorized Facebook to change its privacy settings, banning the collection of personal data without users' consent upon a claim filed by the Federation of German consumer organizations (VZBV).

READ MORE: My New Year Resolution is to 'Fix' Facebook, Says Founder Mark Zuckerberg

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