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.”

, , , , , , ,

  • Under A Bridge

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

    • tom dissonance

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

      • JoiquimCouteau

        fuck that like

  • Under A Bridge

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

  • http://twitter.com/diss1 tom dissonance

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

  • Anonymous

    fuck that like

  • Apg8459

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

  • Apg8459

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

  • Apg8459

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

    • E.B. Wolf

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

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        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)

        • E.B. Wolf

          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.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Yep, thats the way to go

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

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

    • Peta

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Redacted

    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.

    • Quitbeinggaysian

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

  • E.B. Wolf

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

  • Okarin

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

  • Okarin

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

  • wanted

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

  • wanted

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

    • Humanity

      HELL YEA!! FUCK YOU BEIBER!!

    • E.B. Wolf

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

      • Nunzio X

        Only if they allow a DISLIKE vote for Facebook itself.

    • Vi0let_femme

      wow i had that idea too!

  • Me

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

  • Me

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

  • Quitbeinggaysian

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

  • Humanity

    HELL YEA!! FUCK YOU BEIBER!!

  • Ya

    It’s about god-damn time.

  • Ya

    It’s about god-damn time.

  • E.B. Wolf

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=761252305 Abdul Nabi

    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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=761252305 Abdul Nabi

    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.

    • Anonymous

      Gesprochen von der nicht-deutschen Müll

  • Vi0let_femme

    wow i had that idea too!

  • Nunzio X

    Only if they allow a DISLIKE vote for Facebook itself.

  • Anonymous

    Gesprochen von der nicht-deutschen Müll

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    *Like*

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    *Like*

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    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)

  • E.B. Wolf

    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.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Yep, thats the way to go

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Yep, thats the way to go

  • Akaudze

    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!

  • Akaudze

    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!

  • Akaudze

    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!

  • Akaudze

    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!

  • Akaudze

    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!

  • Akaudze

    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!

  • Peta

    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.

21