Germany Sues Facebook For Violating Users' Privacy
July 8, 2010 6:03 PM
comment(s) - last by
Could cost the company tens of thousands of euros
It looks like
isn't the only company Germany is looking to pick a bone with regarding user privacy. A German data protection official has
prepared legal proceedings
against social networking giant Facebook, which has had a history of
privacy related problems
in the past.
The data protection official, Johannes Caspar, who works in the Hamburg branch, has accused Facebook of illegally "accessing and saving personal data" of those who do not have a profile registered on the site.
Facebook changed its privacy settings in April in order to allow any user to block access to their e-mail contacts. But for Germany, a country that has strict privacy laws that outline the kind of information and amount of information that can be accessed and by whom, this slight privacy change wasn't enough.
Caspar has said the contacts that have been previously saved have not been erased, and are now being used for marketing-related purposes. He made it clear that this is a
breach of data
privacy laws and that it's important to save this information from third parties.
"It is a system that is designed around making it possible for Facebook to expand, for its own benefit," said Caspar. "Given that several million people in Germany alone are members, this is a very unsettling notion."
Caspar reported that many people have contacted his office with complaints regarding the
Facebook privacy invasion
. Facebook has until August 11 to formally respond to Germany's complaint. These legal allegations against Facebook could result in the company paying tens of thousands of euros.
Ilse Aigner, Germany's consumer protection minister, has already taken a proactive stance against Facebook by opting to delete her Facebook account, saying that the company isn't doing enough to secure the privacy of its users.
In addition to problems with Facebook, Germany has initiated an investigation that will look into
Google's Street View
mapping program and
continues to battle with Apple
over the company's tracking and collection of iPhone users' data.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: example of Facebook's lack of respect for privacy
7/8/2010 9:10:58 PM
There's a big difference between giving feedback/asking for an improvement and trying to force one. Pointing out flaws and suggesting better ways of doing something is great. So great, in fact, that more people should do it.
The problem is that many people feel like they're entitled to do more than suggest. The article isn't about Germany asking for a change, it's about Germany demanding one. That's where the "if you don't like it, go away/don't use it" comes in. Alternately, "if you don't like it, then build your own Facebook and run it however you want" also works in this case (I suspect you might find that it's difficult to grow your network if you allow your users to make themselves unfindable).
But, I did come down too hard on your original post. You weren't siding with Germany, so much as providing an example of something that could be done better.
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
Germany Calls Apple's Plan to Track iPhone Users "Unacceptable"
June 28, 2010, 10:28 AM
May 27, 2010, 10:13 AM
FTC Announces Crackdown on Computer Speedup/Tech Support Scams
November 20, 2014, 1:40 PM
Nokia Lumia 635 LTE Windows Phone is Only $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday
November 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
It's Official: Twitter is Profitable "Junk"
November 16, 2014, 10:45 PM
Microsoft Rolls Out $199 “Work & Play Bundle” for Its Subscription Services
November 11, 2014, 11:18 AM
Best Buy Offering up $200, 50” Panasonic LED HDTV on Black Friday
November 11, 2014, 10:48 AM
Dropbox, Microsoft Announce Partnership, Tight Integration
November 4, 2014, 3:44 PM
Most Popular Articles
Austrian Pilots Call Surface 3 Pro Flight Bag a "Dream Come True"
November 14, 2014, 2:00 PM
U.S. Marshals Using Fake, Airplane-based Cell Towers to Scan Cell Phones of Americans
November 14, 2014, 9:05 AM
Microsoft: All* Lumias Will Get Windows 10; Adds Real-Time Battery Live Tile
November 13, 2014, 6:32 PM
Nokia Explores Two Paths Back to the Smartphone Market
November 14, 2014, 9:05 PM
Google Initiates Rollout of Lollipop Updates for Nexus 5, 7, and 10
November 12, 2014, 4:15 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information