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German court tells Apple to change rules for handling customer data

A German court has ruled that Apple must change its company policies for handling customer data after finding the policies violate the country's privacy laws. In the suit, brought by the group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV), it took issue with eight of the provisions in Apple's data-use rules. VZBV originally objected to 15 of the data-use provisions, but was able to work out a binding declaration from Apple covering seven of the provisions.

The basis behind the German court's decision is that Apple cannot ask for "global consent" for data use when German law requires consumers to be told exactly how their data is being used. The court also ruled that Apple cannot ask users for permission to use their friends contacts, due to the lack of consent from those third parties. In addition Apple is forbidden from distributing users data to advertisers, specifically citing the possibility of using GPS to promote location-based advertising.

Apple is currently dealing with a similar case in the United States. The company's stance is that use of the tracking data does not constitute any harm.

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