Why is the couch surfing base so angry

Internet: Schaar criticizes the backpacker network Couchsurfing

For the members of the portal, which backpackers in particular use to find free beds, new terms of use will apply from Friday. These allow the network, which has 4.8 million members, to pass on private user data and photos to third parties in the future and to use them almost indefinitely.

"The new terms of use force users to forego any control over their data," explained Schaar. This is unacceptable and inadmissible under German and European data protection law.

This is not used in the Couchsurfing case because the company is based in the USA. However, a draft of the European Commission provides for strict principles of data protection law to also apply to non-EU countries in the future. The German authorities could currently do no more than inform the responsible supervisory authority in the US about the case, said a spokeswoman for Schaars.

Numerous users reacted angrily and announced that they would delete their accounts and switch to other providers. "It's a shame," tweeted one couch surfer. The new conditions are no longer transparent, said a user when asked by dpa, especially since the operators no longer have to inform users about any further changes in data protection in the future. The operators of the site could not initially be reached to comment.

After the USA, Germany has the largest number of active couch surfing users in over 90,000 cities. Because the almost anonymous mutual accommodation in their own home requires a lot of trust, members often create detailed profiles that include name, address, telephone number, age, occupation and photos. (dpa)

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