Facebook accused of violating privacy laws by German advocacy group
Updated 4:05 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Facebook faces a potential lawsuit for allegedly violating privacy laws in Germany.
According to reports by IDG News Service, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV), an advocacy group, says that Facebook must stop giving users' private information to third-party applications until it obtains explicit consent.
VZBV says Facebook's method of consent is too ambiguous. When adding an app from the Facebook App Center, users may press buttons like "play game" or "send to phone" without realizing that they've agreed to share personal data because user consent is assumed by their action.
The group wants Facebook to make it clear to users that they have agreed to share private information and how that data will be used.
There is a text box that specifies what information an app can access and how the developers may use the information. However, the VZBV wants the process to be absolutely clear to users.
VZBV has given Facebook a deadline of September 4 to stop automatically providing data to third-party apps, otherwise the group says it will file a lawsuit against the social network.
Facebook recently resolved similar charges in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission charged that following a series of changes made to Facebook's privacy settings, information and photos that were previously private was suddenly made public.
The social network did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to cooperate with government audits for 20 years.
Facebook declined to comment on the matter, but did say the company is looking into it.
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