Germany Makes Facebook “Like” Button Illegal

facebook-like-thumbs-up“Websites in Schleswig-Holstein must remove their Facebook Like button by the end of September 2011 or they will face a fine of up to €50,000 ($72,000).”

Northern Germany has announced that the Like button, with its ability to track a user’s movement across the internet, violates German and European privacy law. But without tracking plugins, how will corporations and advertisers record our activities and interests, so that they can better serve and satisfy? Via ZDNet:

Commissioner Thilo Weichert, of the Independent Center for Privacy Protection, said the social network’s “Like button” plugin illegally puts together a profile of their Web habits.

The ULD said if you visit Facebook.com or use a Facebook plugin such as the Like button, you should expect to be tracked by the company for two years: Facebook allegedly builds a broad profile for individuals not on the service as well as a more personalized profile for its members.

Traffic and content data are transferred to Facebook’s servers in the US and an analysis is sent back to the website owner concerning the usage. The ULD believes such profiling infringes German and European data protection law. Users are not given sufficient information about this and the wording in Facebook’s conditions of use and privacy statements do not meet the legal requirements relevant for compliance of legal notice, privacy consent, and general terms of use.

“ULD has pointed out informally for some time that many Facebook offerings are in conflict with the law,” Weichart said in a statememt. “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.”

54 Comments on "Germany Makes Facebook “Like” Button Illegal"

  1. Under A Bridge | Aug 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    God Damn Germany made the Like button illegal….How are people going to know if the status they just posted was good??????

  2. Under A Bridge | Aug 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    God Damn Germany made the Like button illegal….How are people going to know if the status they just posted was good??????

  3. nah dawg, it’s the external “Like” button that lets you “Like” other websites and auto-post to yr FB page.

  4. Anonymous | Aug 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm |

    fuck that like

  5. I just tried to post this on my facebook.  It was instantly deleted. hmmm…

  6. I just tried to post this on my facebook.  It was instantly deleted. hmmm…

  7. I just tried to post this on my facebook.  It was instantly deleted. hmmm…

  8. Does anyone understand exactly what is going on here?  What the real security issue is they are concerned about?

  9. Does anyone understand exactly what is going on here?  What the real security issue is they are concerned about?

    • I think the concerns are about tracking visitors of websites with the “like”-button installed. You don’t have to click the button, you are tracked anyway.
      Maybe you don’t know this.

  10. Anonymous | Aug 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

    It’s good to know at least one country realizes what Facebook is up to. 

    Also, it makes a good drinking game. Go to a News or Media site that allows comments, say Huffpo. Take a shot whenever the words “Nazi” or “Hitler” are mentioned. Sign over your life insurance to me first though.

  11. It’s good to know at least one country realizes what Facebook is up to. 

    Also, it makes a good drinking game. Go to a News or Media site that allows comments, say Huffpo. Go to the main story about this ruling. Take a shot whenever the words “Nazi” or “Hitler” are mentioned. Sign over your life insurance to me first though.

  12. E.B. Wolf | Aug 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm |

    I posted it about half an hour ago and its still there.

  13. i guess those who liked this story in germany couldn’t like it

  14. i guess those who liked this story in germany couldn’t like it

  15. Soon to come the greatly requested  “Dislike” button that erases whole companies if pressed by enough people.

  16. Soon to come the greatly requested  “Dislike” button that erases whole companies if pressed by enough people.

  17. I would “Like” this post if it weren’t so counter-intuitive… lol

  18. I would “Like” this post if it weren’t so counter-intuitive… lol

  19. Quitbeinggaysian | Aug 23, 2011 at 2:12 am |

    Jin the Ninja raped a horse…. YAY!!!!

  20. HELL YEA!! FUCK YOU BEIBER!!

  21. It’s about god-damn time.

  22. It’s about god-damn time.

  23. E.B. Wolf | Aug 23, 2011 at 3:00 am |

    I’d seriously reconsider my general opinion of Mark Zuckerberg if they actually installed that.

  24. Germans and their “Vater Staat”… do they need the state to pass a law about when and how they take a crap? I’m sure some pols there think so.

    No one is holding a gun to your head to click the like button… if you want to find out about it you don’t have to read 40 pages of legal… google “Facebook like button privacy”.

    But living there I can tell you they have a rules and regulations fetish… the default is it is forbidden and then after it is way too late they decide their little automaton citizens can do whatever X is…

    Annoying country to live in from that perspective.

  25. Germans and their “Vater Staat”… do they need the state to pass a law about when and how they take a crap? I’m sure some pols there think so.

    No one is holding a gun to your head to click the like button… if you want to find out about it you don’t have to read 40 pages of legal… google “Facebook like button privacy”.

    But living there I can tell you they have a rules and regulations fetish… the default is it is forbidden and then after it is way too late they decide their little automaton citizens can do whatever X is…

    Annoying country to live in from that perspective.

  26. Vi0let_femme | Aug 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

    wow i had that idea too!

  27. Only if they allow a DISLIKE vote for Facebook itself.

  28. Anonymous | Aug 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm |

    Gesprochen von der nicht-deutschen Müll

  29. It doesnt matter, facebook probably sets your priority extremely low when you post stuff like this so it never shows up for anyone to see (unless they go directly to your page every day)

  30. E.B. Wolf | Aug 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm |

    I’m sure it could also be that I have a relatively low friend count since I only “friend” people who are actually my friends.

  31. Yep, thats the way to go

  32. Yep, thats the way to go

  33. Tracking the users is definitely not a good idea. However, Germans!? You will end up facing that nobody in Germany will speak to each other – that would be an abuse! Currently: Specific hours when you can take a bath in a flat. Hours when you can mow the lawn. After 2000 hours everything is “dead” around – everybody sleeps. 2/3 of the youtube is not “available in this country” due to some copyright issues… German punctuality becomes a myth. Bank services, internet and communications stay in stone age. Customer service – disasterous! I have not told all the funny stuff!
    The only couple of things in life you have left are: Autobahn (yet), Beer and some part of Alps. I did not mention see because I live at the see and it is not important for me.
    No, no! I am not german! I am leaving in a couple of weeks. :):) But! Just – think about it!

  34. Tracking the users is definitely not a good idea. However, Germans!? You will end up facing that nobody in Germany will speak to each other – that would be an abuse! Currently: Specific hours when you can take a bath in a flat. Hours when you can mow the lawn. After 2000 hours everything is “dead” around – everybody sleeps. 2/3 of the youtube is not “available in this country” due to some copyright issues… German punctuality becomes a myth. Bank services, internet and communications stay in stone age. Customer service – disasterous! I have not told all the funny stuff!
    The only couple of things in life you have left are: Autobahn (yet), Beer and some part of Alps. I did not mention see because I live at the see and it is not important for me.
    No, no! I am not german! I am leaving in a couple of weeks. :):) But! Just – think about it!

  35. Tracking the users is definitely not a good idea. However, Germans!? You will end up facing that nobody in Germany will speak to each other – that would be an abuse! Currently: Specific hours when you can take a bath in a flat. Hours when you can mow the lawn. After 2000 hours everything is “dead” around – everybody sleeps. 2/3 of the youtube is not “available in this country” due to some copyright issues… German punctuality becomes a myth. Bank services, internet and communications stay in stone age. Customer service – disasterous! I have not told all the funny stuff!
    The only couple of things in life you have left are: Autobahn (yet), Beer and some part of Alps. I did not mention see because I live at the see and it is not important for me.
    No, no! I am not german! I am leaving in a couple of weeks. :):) But! Just – think about it!

  36. Tracking the users is definitely not a good idea. However, Germans!? You will end up facing that nobody in Germany will speak to each other – that would be an abuse! Currently: Specific hours when you can take a bath in a flat. Hours when you can mow the lawn. After 2000 hours everything is “dead” around – everybody sleeps. 2/3 of the youtube is not “available in this country” due to some copyright issues… German punctuality becomes a myth. Bank services, internet and communications stay in stone age. Customer service – disasterous! I have not told all the funny stuff!
    The only couple of things in life you have left are: Autobahn (yet), Beer and some part of Alps. I did not mention see because I live at the see and it is not important for me.
    No, no! I am not german! I am leaving in a couple of weeks. :):) But! Just – think about it!

  37. Tracking the users is definitely not a good idea. However, Germans!? You will end up facing that nobody in Germany will speak to each other – that would be an abuse! Currently: Specific hours when you can take a bath in a flat. Hours when you can mow the lawn. After 2000 hours everything is “dead” around – everybody sleeps. 2/3 of the youtube is not “available in this country” due to some copyright issues… German punctuality becomes a myth. Bank services, internet and communications stay in stone age. Customer service – disasterous! I have not told all the funny stuff!
    The only couple of things in life you have left are: Autobahn (yet), Beer and some part of Alps. I did not mention see because I live at the see and it is not important for me.
    No, no! I am not german! I am leaving in a couple of weeks. :):) But! Just – think about it!

  38. Tracking the users is definitely not a good idea. However, Germans!? You will end up facing that nobody in Germany will speak to each other – that would be an abuse! Currently: Specific hours when you can take a bath in a flat. Hours when you can mow the lawn. After 2000 hours everything is “dead” around – everybody sleeps. 2/3 of the youtube is not “available in this country” due to some copyright issues… German punctuality becomes a myth. Bank services, internet and communications stay in stone age. Customer service – disasterous! I have not told all the funny stuff!
    The only couple of things in life you have left are: Autobahn (yet), Beer and some part of Alps. I did not mention see because I live at the see and it is not important for me.
    No, no! I am not german! I am leaving in a couple of weeks. :):) But! Just – think about it!

  39. I think the concerns are about tracking visitors of websites with the “like”-button installed. You don’t have to click the button, you are tracked anyway.
    Maybe you don’t know this.

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