German court rules several Facebook settings violate laws

BERLIN — A German court has ruled that Facebook's insistence that users provide their real names violates the country's data protection laws.

The Berlin state court ruled in a suit brought by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations that Facebook's "real name" clause violated the country's regulation that providers of online services must allow users to remain anonymous.

The dpa news agency reported Monday that the court also ruled some clauses in Facebook's terms of service were framed too broadly, and that several settings that are activated by default shouldn't be. Those include a Facebook smartphone app feature, which reveals the location a person is chatting from unless it's turned off.

Facebook, which is appealing the ruling, says many of its terms have changed since the suit was brought in 2015.

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