Facebook Defeats German Watchdog Group in "Fake Names" Case
February 15, 2013 3:11 PM
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The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner for Schleswig-Holstein said it would appeal
A German court ruling will allow Facebook to ban the use of fake names on the social network.
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner for Schleswig-Holstein challenged a Facebook policy last year that requires users to create profiles with their
real names only
-- no nicknames or fake names allowed.
The German privacy watchdog said this policy breaches German privacy laws that allow free speech on the Internet. Facebook argued that real names were necessary to protect users.
"It is unacceptable that a U.S. portal like Facebook violates German data protection law unopposed and with no prospect of an end," said Thilo Weichert, Privacy Commissioner and head of ULD. "The aim of the orders of ULD is to finally bring about a legal clarification of who is responsible for Facebook and to what this company is bound to."
However, the German court ruled that the Irish data protection law applied in this case, where Irish data protection officials handle Facebook privacy concerns in Europe (because Facebook's European headquarters is in Ireland).
"We are pleased with the decision, [which] we believe ... is a step into the right direction," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. "We hope that our critics will understand that it is the role of individual services to determine their own policies about anonymity within the governing law – for Facebook Ireland European data protection and Irish law. We therefore feel affirmed that the orders are without merit."
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner for Schleswig-Holstein said it would appeal.
Last August, Facebook reported that
8.7 percent of active user accounts are fake
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RE: Simple solution...
2/16/2013 10:36:29 AM
You are confusing the term "must have", a marketing term, and the term, "necessity", a humanity term.
What you are describing is people who want something so bad, they don't care how they get it, ie. agreeing to Terms they did not read. Facebook and Office are not necessities. You can live a full, rich life without it, arguably richer. Trillions of human beings were born, met someone, had kids, had food in their bellies and joy in their hearts long before Facebook was first conceived. In fact, it is still happening right now, all over the world.
So yeah, it really is as simple as "Don't like it? Don't use it."
If you want to talk about brown tap water, or electric companies shutting off home service randomly to power the ballpark, then we can have a real discussion.
RE: Simple solution...
2/17/2013 9:24:17 PM
If your terms for life are food, water, shelter then I suppose you can live without these things.
But actually, can you? You basically must pay taxes everywhere. If you live in the mountains on your own and no one ever sees you then I suppose you might get away from that, but suppose you don't. Taxes are sort of a terms of service for living in a country. You must agree to them whether you want to or not. In order to pay taxes you must make money, which means more tax generally. To file your tax return you generally have to accept the TOS with your government agency responsible for that. If you mail it in you have no choice but to use the post office or some other carrier which has more service terms you must accept.
That is the way things are going everywhere. Buying a CD, while not a necessity, now comes with a terms of service; a license to use the product but you do not own the music, just the plastic that is the disc.
Facebook is hardly a necessity, but the dealings with every day things that are very basic to everyone (in western countries) are going the same way as the other services you mention.
Also, in case you weren't exaggerating, there has not been a trillion human beings born.
RE: Simple solution...
2/18/2013 3:15:08 AM
Trillions? A bit of hyperbole... Billions? More in the ballpark... Facebook? Not even a billion yet.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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