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.
“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.”