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BGH decides on Facebook's app center and data protection in games

This post is also available in: Deutsch

The Federal Court of Justice has to decide whether, in the way a game is offered there, in the way in which a game is offered there, against the data protection obligation, the users of this network about the scope and purpose of the collection and use of their data is infringed and therefore there are grounds for competition injunctive relief.

In November 2012, several games were offered in the App Center, which offers free online games from different providers, in which the following notes were read under the “Play Immediately” button:

“By clicking on ‘Play Game’ above, this application gets: your general information, your email address, About you, your status messages. This application may post on your behalf, including your score and more.”

The vbzv was of the opinion that Facebook with this presentation of the games in the “App Center” against section 13 para. 1 sentence 1 TMG and Paragraph 4a para. 1 sentence 2 BDSG aF has failed because the information given to users on the scope and purpose of the collection and use of their data is insufficient and therefore no basis for a 1 sentence 1 BDSG aF could constitute effective consent to the use of the data. The vzbv also takes the view that the data protection provisions infringed are market conduct regulations within the meaning of Paragraph 3(3) of the law. 1, Paragraph 4(11) of the UWG (now Paragraph 3(1)) and Section 3a UWG) and an infringement of the injunctive action under Paragraph 8(3) of the law is therefore an infringement of the law. 1 Sentence 1 of the UWG, which he claims to be a qualified body within the meaning of Paragraph 8(8) of the UWG. 3 No 3 UWG.

The district court had ordered Facebook to refrain from presenting games on its website in such a way that users by pressing a button such as “Play the Game” make the statement that the operator of the game is informed of the social network receives information about the personal data stored there and is authorised to transmit information on behalf of the users. Facebook’s appeal was unsuccessful. However, facebook is pursuing its application for dismissal of the case with its appeal, which has been approved by the Court of Appeal.

By order of 11 April 2019, the Federal Court of Justice has dismissed the proceedings in accordance with Paragraph 148 para. 1 ZPO pending the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-40/17 on the request for a preliminary ruling from the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf of 19 January 2017 (I-20 U 40/16, GRUR 2017, 416). See this article.

In the case concerning Facebook’s ‘like’ button, the Higher Regional Court referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union, for a preliminary ruling, as well as in the present case, whether the provisions of Articles 22 bis to 24 of Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of data (Data Protection Directive) preclude national legislation which, like Paragraph 8(8) of the Directive, 3 No. 3 UWG – Gives non-profit associations to protect the interests of consumers the power to take action against the infringer in the event of a breach of data protection rules. The European Court of Justice ruled in this case by judgment of 29 July 2019. See my remarks in this post.

The Federal Court of Justice will now continue the oral proceedings in the case before it. This date will take place on 6 February 2020 and 10.00 a.m. The outcome of the procedure will hopefully clarify some outstanding issues under data protection law.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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