Facebook reaches German privacy deal

January 24, 2011

(AP) -- Facebook said Monday it has reached a deal with German data protection officials in a dispute over unsolicited invitations sent to non-members of the social networking site through its "Friend Finder" feature.

The feature, which allows Facebook to send e-mail invitations to potential users through current members' address books, has come under fire in .

The Hamburg-based data protection authority said Monday it agreed with Facebook to terms that would give members more control over the e-mail address books they choose to share with the site - including allowing Facebook users to choose who should receive an invitation to join the site and adding an additional warning message before it can be sent.

Facebook said in a statement the company welcomed the deal, but declined to give any further information.

"We are pleased that we have come to a solution with the Hamburg Data Protection Authority regarding concerns about Friend-Finder and look forward to continue our constructive discussions and dialogue in the future," it said in an e-mailed statement to The Associated Press.

has come under sharp criticism from German officials for allegedly lax privacy policies.

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