German organization says Facebook ‘Likes’ is illegal

By on August 22, 2011
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Tracking of ‘Like’ data a breach of privacy.


The Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ULD) in Germany has claimed that Facebook’s ‘Like’ plugin for websites have breached privacy rights in the country.

According to the organization, a user can be traced for upto 2 years, or more, based on their ‘Like’ habits. The organization also claims the service builds profiles of members and non-members alike.

ULD has now ordered all Schleswig-Holstein based companies to remove any kind of Facebook Like plugin from their website, alas they feel the wrath of fines of upto, roughly $72,000. ULD also discourages users to use the Like button, and in fact, advices against using Facebook altogether.

In a statement, it said:
““ULD has pointed out informally for some time that many Facebook offerings are in conflict with the law. This unfortunately has not prevented website owners from using the respective services and the more so as they are easy to install and free of charge. Web analytics is among those services and especially informative for advertising purposes. It is paid with the data of the users. With the help of these data Facebook has gained an estimated market value of more than 50 bn. dollars. Institutions must be aware that they cannot shift their responsibility for data privacy upon the enterprise Facebook which does not have an establishment in Germany and also not upon the users.”

As expected, Facebook has rejected the accusation, saying:
““We firmly reject any assertion that Facebook is not compliant with EU data protection standards. The Facebook Like button is such a popular feature because people have complete control over how their information is shared through it. For more than a year, the plugin has brought value to many businesses and individuals every day. We will review the materials produced by the ULD, both on our own behalf and on the behalf of web users throughout Germany.”


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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