• Home
  • Internet
  • Internet News
  • Google Takes Legal Action Over Germany's Expanded Hate Speech Law, Says Provisions Violate Right to Privacy

Google Takes Legal Action Over Germany's Expanded Hate-Speech Law, Says Provisions Violate Right to Privacy

Google filed a suit to challenge a provision that allows user data to be passed to law enforcement before it is clear any crime has been committed.

Google Takes Legal Action Over Germany's Expanded Hate-Speech Law, Says Provisions Violate Right to Privacy

Photo Credit: Reuters

Google says Network Enforcement Act requires providers to pass information of users

Highlights
  • Google says Germany’s new law violated the right to privacy of its users
  • Germany enacted the anti-hate speech law in 2018
  • The law was widely criticised as ineffective

Google said on Tuesday that it was taking legal action over an expanded version of Germany's hate-speech law that recently took effect, saying its provisions violated the right to privacy of its users.

The Alphabet unit, that runs video-sharing site YouTube, filed a suit at the administrative court in Cologne to challenge a provision that allows user data to be passed to law enforcement before it is clear any crime has been committed.

The request for a judicial review comes as Germany gears up for a general election in September, amid concerns that hostile discourse and influence operations conducted via social media may destabilise the country's normally staid campaign politics.

"This massive intervention in the rights of our users stands, in our view, not only in conflict with data protection, but also with the German constitution and European law," Sabine Frank, YouTube's regional head of public policy, wrote in a blog post

Germany enacted the anti-hate speech law, known in German as NetzDG, in early 2018, making online social networks YouTube, Facebook and Twitter responsible for policing and removing toxic content.

The law, that also required social networks to publish regular reports on their compliance, was widely criticised as ineffective, and parliament in May passed legislation to toughen and broaden its application.

Google has taken particular issue with a requirement in the expanded NetzDG that requires providers to pass on to law enforcement personal details of those sharing content suspected to be hateful.

Only once that personal information is in the possession of law enforcement is a decision foreseen on whether to launch a criminal case, meaning that data of innocent people could end up in a crime database without their knowledge, it argues.

"Network providers such as YouTube are now required to automatically transfer user data en masse and in bulk to law enforcement agencies without any legal order, without knowledge of the user, only based on the suspicion of a criminal offence," a Google spokesperson said.

"This undermines fundamental rights, we have therefore decided to have the relevant provisions of the NetzDG judicially reviewed by the competent administrative court in Cologne.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Amazon's annual shopping extravaganza, Prime Day, is our focus this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: Google, NetzDG, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter
BlackBerry 5G Phone 'Pre-Commitment Program' Promises Early Updates, Chance to Give Inputs, Pre-Order Option
Micromax in 2b With Dual Rear Cameras to Launch in India on July 30, Flipkart Teases

Related Stories

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2021. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com