ECJ strengthens consumer associations

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G.el. Berlin: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has strengthened consumer protection organizations to protect data protection violations. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) received the green light from Luxembourg on Thursday to take action against Meta, Facebook’s parent company in Ireland, for ignoring personal data. Depending on how the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) assesses the legal status of vzbv in the light of the Luxembourg ruling. Vzbv expressed confidence that BGH’s suspicions that the court had appealed to the ECJ had been allayed.

As early as 2012, vzbv had complained to Facebook Ireland that free games from a third-party provider, known as the app center on the platform, violated data protection laws and other restrictions. The ban, introduced by consumer protection organizations, has been successful once or twice. On the other hand, the BGH was skeptical about the legitimacy of the action as the legal situation changed when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. Among other things, it is doubtful whether data protection is now primarily a matter for supervisory authorities. The ECJ has now responded that GDPR does not preclude member states from providing representation activities for the protection of personal data subject to certain conditions. The goal of GDPR is to “ensure a high level of protection of personal data.” The conditions for the survival of vzbv’s litigation are met. “Ensuring the rights of consumers” is in the public interest. No order is required from the affected customers.

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