changing justice

Legal Experts Debate 'Free' Web Services

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Is your account really free?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German civil law is in need of reform in a number of areas because of the internet and advances in modern medicine.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • More than 2,000 legal experts are meeting in Essen to debate changes to the country’s civil law.
    • Free internet and laws protecting children are among the issued being discussed.
    • Some experts would like to see televised court hearings.
  • Audio

    Audio

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For downloads, streaming and other internet services advertised as free by web companies, users don’t pay in euros but in something just as valuable: their personal data.

So are they really free? Or do they actually cost something, if no financial reimbursement but personal data is required, which, in turn, is used for advertising?

It’s one of the controversial issues German legal experts are debating at a meeting in Essen because of the legal requirements applying to paid services under German civil law – and also because of the companies involved.

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