Facebook used personal data of German citizens in an illegal manner, a Berlin regional court ruled on Monday, concluding that the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant didn't obtain the consent to do so from its users in an appropriate manner, i.e. by asking for it while clearly informing them about its practices. A copy of the ruling has been shared by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations earlier today, revealing that the competent court found Facebook's privacy practices to be in violation of some consumer protections in the European country. The court dismissed a number of other allegations against Facebook as part of the same trial and the defendant is now planning to appeal the sentence deeming its privacy practices illegal.
The timing of the verdict is inopportune for the world's largest social media network that's currently in the process of additionally revising its policies in order to comply with the upcoming privacy law set to go into effect in the European Union in June. The company recently fought off a privacy-focused class-action lawsuit filed against it with the top EU court, though the judicial body still advised the plaintiff to pursue individual litigation against the firm in their home country of Austria. Facebook is still being scrutinized by the EU's privacy watchdogs over its data sharing with its messaging subsidiary WhatsApp and even Instagram that has been the subject of some ongoing controversies for over a year now.