According to an opinion of the European Court of Justice, consumer advocates may be entitled to sue against data protection violations at internet giants such as Facebook, even without specific instructions from those affected.

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not stand in the way of a German regulation, according to which not only data protection officers are allowed to sue, but also consumer advocates can file collective actions.

This emerges from the recommendations to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) published on Thursday.

The reports are not binding, but the Luxembourg judges often follow them.

In Germany, not only the supervisory authorities can take action against data protection violations.

Competitors and associations, institutions and chambers can also sue without being commissioned by a data subject.

According to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), however, it is disputed whether the GDPR opposes this.

According to the expert opinion, however, EU countries can allow certain institutions to bring collective actions "to protect the collective interests of consumers" without commissioning the injured people.

The Federal Court of Justice found that Facebook had violated data protection law

The background is a case from Germany. In May 2020, the BGH asked the ECJ whether consumer protection associations are authorized to sue against violations of data protection law. According to the BGH judge Thomas Koch, the dispute between consumer advocates and Facebook is about a relatively clear violation of data protection law by Facebook.

The umbrella association of consumer organizations criticized the fact that Facebook violated data protection with free games from other providers.

At least in a so-called app center in the 2012 version, users automatically consented to the transmission of various data to the game operator by clicking on “Play now”.

They also authorized the applications to post - “status messages, photos and more”.

The user remains unclear what will happen to his data, said Koch in May 2020.

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