Facebooks Like button termed illegal in Germany

Privacy is necessary for a citizen, but should the highly popular Like button be banned in name of privacy!

Germany has one of the most strict privacy laws in the country. Now the German government has declared that the Facebook Like button, which appears on countless websites accessible all over the world, violates of the countrys strict privacy rights, and hence are illegal. The California based Facebook released a statement stating that its plug-ins were in full compliance with European law.

This situation is reminiscent of the recent legislation passed in Tennessee, USA, that makes it illegal to post offensive images online. Both are examples of local governments acting beyond their limited authority.

Thilo Weichert, an official from the German state of Schleswig-Holsteins data protection centre, said that the privacy violation stems from the Like buttons ability to track a persons movement across the web. The ruling requires websites to remove the Like button by the end of September or face a fine of up to 50,000, which is equivalent to $US 71, 935.

According to Thilo Weichert, the Facebook Like button also breaks European Union data protection laws, in addition to the German laws. However, Facebook has rejected those claims and said any data thats stored (like web activity from a unique IP address) is deleted after the industry standard 90-days. It is unclear if the judgement applies only to websites that are published within Germany, or to all websites accessible within the country.


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