Germany Goes After Facebook Over Privacy Law

'Friend Finder' could get the social networking site a hefty fine
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2010 5:46 PM CDT
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, smiles at the annual Allen & Co. Media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Wednesday, July 7, 2010.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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(Newser) – Facebook faces legal action in Germany over the nation's strict privacy laws, Monsters and Critics reports. A privacy commissioner has charged that the site's "Friend Finder" breaks German law. The software looks at the address books of users and sends emails to friends asking them to join Facebook. That function breaks German bans on firms collecting information on non-clients and using it for marketing, he says.

"We consider the capture of data from third parties in this fashion impermissible under data-protection laws," said the commissioner, Johannes Caspar. "We want to demonstrate that German data protection law also applies to foreign firms that have users in Germany." He has given Facebook until Aug. 11 to reply.
(Read more Germany stories.)

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