BGH: Facebook Invitations unlawful

BGH: messages from social networks, non-Members, request for registration, are unlawful.

S ocial networks like Facebook live contacts. Not only users, but also the operator of the service benefit from people who are part of the networking community. But at what point is an invitation to serve ads? In the case of Facebook, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the consumer. The consequences of this judgment can not be foreseen.

Facebook emails are illegal

The judges of the Supreme Court analyzed it now as an inadmissible nuisance advertising when emails call non-members to register without these have expressly agreed. Whether this turns up the network or an acquaintance as the sender, does not matter. In this specific case it is the “friend finder” of Facebook in the version of 2010: There bot network users during the registration to to browse their email contacts to find as Facebook friends. It also invitation e-mails went out to contacts who were not registered with Facebook.

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Judgment for the purposes of consumer protection

The method was applied for the Consumer: She gave Facebook the right to use the invitation e-mails primarily as an advertising platform for their own service. The gave the court. The network put the technical functions unsolicited available, which the user must trigger only. Behind the appearance of a personal message Facebook conceals beyond the commercial interests. The Court also found that the company had deceived users regarding data usage: From the question “Are your friends already on Facebook?” It is not clear that even one involving invitations to unregistered acquaintances. An indication had Facebook behind the link “Your password is not stored by Facebook” hidden. With the decision, the court upheld the judgment of the Kammergericht Berlin of the beginning of 2014, had unsuccessfully appealed against the Facebook revision. Two other complaints the Consumer against Facebook are still running: partly because of the design of the app center and the advertising slogan “Facebook is and will remain free.”

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Facebook noted that there no longer exists the “friend finder” in this form. They wanted to test the formulated judgment thoroughly to assess the impact on their own services. Nevertheless, Facebook is offering users retain the option to find friends from their own contact lists. This contacted Facebook, even if they are unregistered. This version also keep Verbraucherschuetzer questionable. The decision, the court ruled, by the way applies to all social networks. However, no provider wanted to date comment. As the behavior of online networks affected by the judgment, remains to be seen. (With material of dpa.)

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