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German Court Rejects Apple's Privacy Policy

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  • To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vombatus (777631) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @02:21AM (#43662561)
    It must be hard to ensure that every jurisdiction on earth will be happy with everything that you do
    • Re:To be fair (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @02:24AM (#43662565) Homepage Journal

      It must be hard to ensure that every jurisdiction on earth will be happy with everything that you do

      it's not that hard. just go by the german definition.

      • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Stolpskott (2422670) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @02:43AM (#43662619)

        it's not that hard. just go by the german definition.

        But that means that leaving your towel on a sun lounger before breakfast to reserve that sun lounger for your sole use is perfectly acceptable!

        As with any other internationalized business, though... either you tailor your offering to match the requirements or lack thereof of local laws in each case, or you put together a "one size fits all" policy that incorporates the strictest interpretation of each element of local legislation in individual countries.
        Apple and other international businesses might complain about the complexity of either approach, but that is part of the cost of doing business in an international environment. Suck it up.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          it's not that hard. just go by the german definition.

          But that means that leaving your towel on a sun lounger before breakfast to reserve that sun lounger for your sole use is perfectly acceptable!

          As with any other internationalized business, though... either you tailor your offering to match the requirements or lack thereof of local laws in each case, or you put together a "one size fits all" policy that incorporates the strictest interpretation of each element of local legislation in individual countries.
          Apple and other international businesses might complain about the complexity of either approach, but that is part of the cost of doing business in an international environment. Suck it up.

          I meant german domestic definitions. What Apple has been going so far quite widely has been the Germans Abroad definitions.

        • As with any other internationalized business, though... either you tailor your offering to match the requirements or lack thereof of local laws in each case, or you put together a "one size fits all" policy that incorporates the strictest interpretation of each element of local legislation in individual countries.

          Yes, web sites need to be careful what they show in different countries. For example, a photo in the "Victoria's Secretions" catalog might be harmless in Europe, but get your balls amputated in a Muslim Brotherhood 'hood.

          I noticed that WebSphere Portal Server actually has some configuration stuff, so that you can block pages for specific areas.

          • a photo in the "Victoria's Secretions" catalog

            Those photos sound wilder than the ones in the "Victoria's Secrets" catalog...

        • by WonkoS (1263280)
          After all, car makers selling cars in the United States typically will build all of their models to meet California emissions standards, even if they are more strict than the rest of the country. Seems like a similar case.
          • Well, the problem is that European privacy guidelines are a completely foreign concept to US data collection practices.

            Ok, let's detour slightly: A typical US american has a couple of "fundamental rights", and the moment someone threatens them, get up in arms. E.g. most jurisdictions have at least a little weaker Freedom of Speech rights. Now Germany considers Privacy (and a number of related concepts releveant to IT) a fundamental Human right. As in, your data is yours. And by default companies (and even t

      • by Gonoff (88518)

        It must be hard to ensure that every jurisdiction on earth will be happy with everything that you do

        it's not that hard. just go by the German definition.

        Or even any civilised one. Look at EU rules for example.

    • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AuMatar (183847) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @02:42AM (#43662613)

      You don't have to- you only have to make sure its legal in the countries you sell it in. Germans aren't suing because of Apple violating their law in America, they're suing them for violating it in Germany. If you aren't willing to abide by the laws, then don't sell in that country.

      • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Informative)

        by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @03:40AM (#43662801)

        You don't have to- you only have to make sure its legal in the countries you sell it in. Germans aren't suing because of Apple violating their law in America, they're suing them for violating it in Germany. If you aren't willing to abide by the laws, then don't sell in that country.

        Germans are not actually suing. They don't need to sue. Parts of Apple's policy have been declared invalid, which means that legally these parts don't exist.

      • by thephydes (727739)
        I couldn't have said it better - thank you!
    • Sure, but that's not what's happening. They don't exist in every jurisdiction on earth, just the ones they do business in. Maybe Apple shouldn't do business in countries if it's too hard for them to obey the local laws..?

      • I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what is "really" going on.

        The harder Germany harasses existing players, the more they cement the well-funded ones like Apple/Google/Microsoft into a position of having an insurmountable barrier to entry.

        This doesn't hurt big companies, it makes sure the smaller ones cannot enter the market.

        It is a short-term inconvenience for Apple, sure, but a long-term benefit for the top players to have this market locked down in a parade of red tape.

    • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hydrofix (1253498) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @04:10AM (#43662905)
      Err.. The European privacy laws are pretty much common sense. Just consider that people have the right to know what personal information is stored of them. If you are open about what information you collect, you should have no problem. But if you want to obscure what information you collect or collect more information than you openly admit, you are going to have a bad time.
    • People are different, laws are local, failing to realise this is bad business.

      Its like launching an English website in France, your not going to get a lot of customers.

    • by dfghjk (711126)

      It's not "everything that you do", it's something specific and it's not hard when you aren't shady.

    • by xelah (176252)
      That's one reason the EU was created. Must be harder still in the US, with so many states. However, you can probably miss some jurisdictions. You probably only need to worry about those places you have a presence, plus maybe the local bullies (eg, the US in much of the 'West', possibly Russia if you're somewhere like Ukraine or Belarus). A western Internet company which isn't targeting or operating in China probably doesn't need to care about Chinese laws.
  • by fazig (2909523) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @02:41AM (#43662609)
    With organisations like the StaSi and GeStaPo in more recent German history, the protection of the individual's privacy is a serious issue in Germany.
    Now and then politicians try to create another surveillance state for example to fight "child pornography", but fortunately they haven't succeeded to enact their crazy laws so far.
  • I'm experiencing cognitive dissonance; can anyone help me out? This seems to be cheered by posters who say that national laws are a good thing and foreigners should be forced to bend their knees whenever there is a conflict. However, in previous stories I have heard precisely the opposite: local standards are for ignorant redneck bullies who are too stupid to realize that their hillbilly local ordnances should be harmonized with international standards [slashdot.org]. Please reconcile.
  • by Robert Frazier (17363) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @07:12AM (#43663559) Homepage

    It would be interesting to know whether there is anyone who holds both of the following positions.

    1. The German finding is unfair to Apple because Apple, quite reasonably, shouldn't be required to follow the law of every land in which it does business..
    2. Criticising Apple for caving in to the censorship requirements of the Chinese government is unfair to Apple because Apple, quite reasonably, should be required to follow the law of every land in which it does business.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

    • If you put it like that - it's not possible, however I do hold the both those views - only each have an ammendment you didn't consider "provided they are in line with the international agreement on human rights".

      As a general rule (though aside from that) I believe that whenever a company does business in another country, it should be compliant with the laws of BOTH it's parent country AND the one it operates in except where those are contradictory to the point where following one would violate the other (t

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