Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance
 
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SusManufactory
(@susmanufactory)
Active Member
Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance

Dear Printables Team,

 

I'd like to bring to your attention certain aspects of the design competition rules that appear to be in direct contradiction with several European Union (EU) laws. Specifically, the following rules may pose legal concerns:

 

  • The rule requiring contestants to keep their models posted for a minimum of one year may conflict with data protection laws, particularly those outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Additionally, the clause allowing the competition organizer to terminate the competition or change the conditions at any time might raise issues under EU consumer protection laws, such as the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

 

I kindly request an official reply from Printables regarding these concerns and any measures planned to ensure compliance with EU laws.

 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This topic was modified 1 month ago 2 times by SusManufactory
Posted : 14/05/2024 10:26 pm
SusManufactory
(@susmanufactory)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance

Bumping this after another full week of getting no replies from Printables.

Posted : 23/05/2024 3:02 am
JoanTabb
(@joantabb)
Veteran Member Moderator
RE: Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance

Please email prusa directly.

Regards Joan

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK

Posted : 23/05/2024 1:06 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Illustrious Member

I am not a lawyer, I do not work for Prusa.

EU law is a pita but in this case:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR concerns personal data,  where information is volunteered publicly it does not apply and, as in this example, where the personal part of the data is not made public and only the entry itself and an attribution to a screen-name is made, the GDPR is not violated.  The GDPR would only apply if the identity behind that screen-name was revealed without permission.  The data collected by Prusa *is* subject to GDPR and so they are required to maintain their databases to preserve privacy accordingly.

My private opinion is that all entries should either be deleted immediately or conspicuously marked 'Completely untested and probably a complete waste of filament'.

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

As Prusa do not charge an entry fee there is very little of this that might apply.  There is also no question of offering false prizes or requiring additional prize fees (although the winner's government might apply a customs duty, very few do for prizes, and there is no duty barrier within the EU so it cannot arise there.)

Cheerio,

Posted : 23/05/2024 4:00 pm
SusManufactory
(@susmanufactory)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance
Posted by: @diem

I am not a lawyer, I do not work for Prusa.

EU law is a pita but in this case:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR concerns personal data,  where information is volunteered publicly it does not apply and, as in this example, where the personal part of the data is not made public and only the entry itself and an attribution to a screen-name is made, the GDPR is not violated.  The GDPR would only apply if the identity behind that screen-name was revealed without permission.  The data collected by Prusa *is* subject to GDPR and so they are required to maintain their databases to preserve privacy accordingly.

My private opinion is that all entries should either be deleted immediately or conspicuously marked 'Completely untested and probably a complete waste of filament'.

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

As Prusa do not charge an entry fee there is very little of this that might apply.  There is also no question of offering false prizes or requiring additional prize fees (although the winner's government might apply a customs duty, very few do for prizes, and there is no duty barrier within the EU so it cannot arise there.)

Cheerio,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Allow me to rebut some of it.

"where information is volunteered publicly it does not apply."

This is not entirely accurate. GDPR can apply to personal data even if it is publicly available. The key factor is whether the data can identify a person directly or indirectly. If personal data (even if publicly available) is processed by an organization, GDPR principles must be followed.

---

"where the personal part of the data is not made public and only the entry itself and an attribution to a screen-name is made, the GDPR is not violated."

This depends on whether the screen-name can be linked to an individual. GDPR covers any data that can identify a person, directly or indirectly. If the screen-name can be associated with a real person, it is considered personal data and GDPR applies.

---

"The GDPR would only apply if the identity behind that screen-name was revealed without permission."

This is misleading. GDPR applies to the processing of any personal data, whether or not it is publicly disclosed. Processing includes collection, storage, usage, and sharing of personal data. The requirement for consent is one aspect of GDPR, but the regulation encompasses much more, including data protection rights and obligations for lawful processing.

---

Posted by: @joantabb

Please email prusa directly.

Regards Joan

 

Thanks Joan, but no. All my messages are being ignored when sent through the "official channels".

Posted : 25/05/2024 8:51 am
JoanTabb
(@joantabb)
Veteran Member Moderator
RE: Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance

Have you tried Snail Mail? 
direct to the head office address? 
regards Joan

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK

Posted : 25/05/2024 10:52 am
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Illustrious Member

Allow me to rebut some of it.

All of your points apply to publication on Printables, all of which is volunteered, verified and posted by the indiviual, yes Prusa must comply with GDPR with regard to the background information but the publication and content thereof is entirely under the control of the user.

The only difference between regular Printables postings and competition entries is that the user has ticked one box, thereby ageeing to allow the posting to be judged, and to remain for a minimum period.

Cheerio,

Posted : 25/05/2024 3:47 pm
Ondřej Stříteský
(@ondrej-stritesky)
Member Moderator
RE: Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance

Hello SusManufactory,

thank you for bringing up these two aspects with a request to officially comment.

Please see our stance below per each point:

  • The rule requiring contestants to keep their models posted for a minimum of one year may conflict with data protection laws, particularly those outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) are a form of an agreement between us and the data subject (contest participant), this agreement is a one of permissible so-called legal basis for personal data processing under the GDPR (See Article 6.1. (b)). Hence, if you as a data subject voluntarily agree to these T&Cs, this agreement is the legal basis for the particular processing activity. In context of your question the contest is governed by the T&Cs and associated processing of personal data is compliant with the GDPR and general data processing principles still apply.

Please note that at Prusa3D we comply with the GDPR and other applicable Privacy laws.

See more details about how we process personal data in our Privacy Policy.

  • Additionally, the clause allowing the competition organizer to terminate the competition or change the conditions at any time might raise issues under EU consumer protection laws, such as the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

Please note that participation in the contest is completely voluntary, you as a prospective contest participant can decide whether to accept the Contest related T&Cs or not. These T&Cs contain the rules, which govern the contest including the possibility to change the terms at any time, we were transparent about this from the the moment we published these T&Cs (which were not subject to any changes), therefore we don't see any potential compliance issue with applicable consumer protection laws. 


We hope we clarified these two aspects to your satisfaction.

Happy to discuss this further if needed.

Printables team

 

Posted by: @susmanufactory

Dear Printables Team,

 

I'd like to bring to your attention certain aspects of the design competition rules that appear to be in direct contradiction with several European Union (EU) laws. Specifically, the following rules may pose legal concerns:

 

  • The rule requiring contestants to keep their models posted for a minimum of one year may conflict with data protection laws, particularly those outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Additionally, the clause allowing the competition organizer to terminate the competition or change the conditions at any time might raise issues under EU consumer protection laws, such as the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

 

I kindly request an official reply from Printables regarding these concerns and any measures planned to ensure compliance with EU laws.

 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

Posted : 27/05/2024 8:59 am
SusManufactory
(@susmanufactory)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE:

"Hence, if you as a data subject voluntarily agree to these T&Cs, this agreement is the legal basis for the particular processing activity. In context of your question the contest is governed by the T&Cs and associated processing of personal data is compliant with the GDPR and general data processing principles still apply."

GDPR Article 17 (Right to Erasure) still allows participants to withdraw consent and request deletion of their data. The response does not address how you handle such requests. The Printables Team should explicitly state in their T&Cs or Privacy Policy that participants can request the removal of their data, including their models, at any time in compliance with Article 17 of the GDPR.

"Please note that participation in the contest is completely voluntary, you as a prospective contest participant can decide whether to accept the Contest related T&Cs or not."

  1. Misleading Commercial Practices (Directive 2005/29/EC):

    • Practice 19: Promoting a contest or competition without awarding the advertised prizes in a fair manner can be considered a misleading commercial practice.
    • Practice 5: Deceptive advertising practices can mislead consumers, which is prohibited.
  2. Consumer Protection:

    • Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC): Terms and conditions that are not applied fairly or consistently can be deemed unfair and thus unenforceable.
    • Trust and Transparency: Breaching trust can damage the brand's reputation and consumer confidence.

 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by SusManufactory
Posted : 27/05/2024 10:22 am
Ondřej Stříteský
(@ondrej-stritesky)
Member Moderator
RE: Concern Regarding Design Competition Rules and EU Law Compliance

Hello,

thank you for following up these two aspects with a request to officially comment.

 

Please see our stance below per each point:

GDPR Article 17 (Right to Erasure) still allows participants to withdraw consent and request deletion of their data. The response does not address how you handle such requests. The Printables Team should explicitly state in their T&Cs or Privacy Policy that participants can request the removal of their data, including their models, at any time in compliance with Article 17 of the GDPR.

Please note, that we respect all the data subject rights under the GDPR, the right to data erasure and the right to withdraw a consent are two distinctive data subject rights.

Please note that in the context of this contest, we don't process personal data of consent participants based on a consent, but as mentioned on the basis of a contract (acceptance of the T&Cs). Hence, the withdrawal of a consent would not be applicable.

The data erasure right is still applicable, however even this right is not so-called absolute, as explained in the GDPR (See Article 17.3. (b) and (e)). The non-absolute nature of the data erasure right means that the data controller may still process some personal data even after the execution of the data subject right to erase the personal data, for instance for the purpose of defense or establishment of legal claims or in compliance with a legal obligation.


Misleading Commercial Practices (Directive 2005/29/EC)
:

  • Practice 19: Promoting a contest or competition without awarding the advertised prizes in a fair manner can be considered a misleading commercial practice.
  • Practice 5: Deceptive advertising practices can mislead consumers, which is prohibited.

Consumer Protection:

  • Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC): Terms and conditions that are not applied fairly or consistently can be deemed unfair and thus unenforceable.
  • Trust and Transparency: Breaching trust can damage the brand's reputation and consumer confidence.


Comment on reference to Misleading Commercial Practices, Practice 19 & Practice 5 

Not applicable to our contest since we have awarded the winners pursuant to the T&Cs and we are acting in conformity with the prior communicated T&Cs and we avoid deceptive marketing practices in our business conduct. 

See details about the winning (awarded) projects in the following articles/pages:

https://www.printables.com/contest/428-bathtub-toys

https://blog.prusa3d.com/ergonomic-workshop-aids-contest-winners_96453/

https://www.printables.com/contest/431-ergonomic-workshop-aids

Comment on reference to Consumer Protection 

Unfair Contract Terms

Not applicable to our contest since we have awarded the winners pursuant to the T&Cs and we are acting in conformity with the prior communicated T&Cs. 

Trust and Transparency

We value and appreciate our customers, users, and employees and we honor all the applicable data protection and data privacy laws.

Our goal is to make processing of personal data comprehensible and transparent to all types of data subjects (all affected individuals). You can observe our commitment to Privacy and Data Protection Practices in our yearly Sustainability Report (ESG Report). 

We hope we clarified these two aspects to your satisfaction.

 

Printables team

Posted : 28/05/2024 8:39 am
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