Facebook wins German court fight on fake names ban

Feb 15, 2013

(AP)—Facebook has won a court battle against a German privacy watchdog that challenged the social networking site's policy requiring users to register with their real names.

Schleswig-Holstein state's data protection body said Friday it will appeal the court decision. It argues the ban on fake names breaches German privacy laws and European rules designed to protect free speech online.

The administrative court in northern German Schleswig argued in its ruling Thursday that German privacy laws weren't applicable because has its European headquarters in Ireland—which has less far-reaching rules.

The California-based company argues its real name policy protects users.

Germany's strict privacy rules have posed a legal headache for Facebook, and others in recent years, giving consumers significant rights to limit the way companies use their information.

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frajo
not rated yet Feb 15, 2013
Actually I don't understand the court's decision. A company is allowed to disobeye German law in Germany because the law elsewhere differs?
Otoh, I welcome this strange decision because it lessens facebooks attractiveness.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2013
Actually I don't understand the court's decision. A company is allowed to disobeye German law in Germany because the law elsewhere differs?


Facebook is not German, so German privacy laws do not apply. Thats how I understand the decision, and it makes sense that way.
frajo
not rated yet Feb 17, 2013
Actually I don't understand the court's decision. A company is allowed to disobeye German law in Germany because the law elsewhere differs?


Facebook is not German, so German privacy laws do not apply. Thats how I understand the decision, and it makes sense that way.

So it would make sense to you when a German [Chinese, ...] company operating in the US were allowed to disobeye US privacy law because US privacy law doesn't apply?
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Feb 18, 2013
So it would make sense to you when a German [Chinese, ...] company operating in the US were allowed to disobeye US privacy law because US privacy law doesn't apply?


Well, yes. When they are registered in another country, then applying national laws can be very problematic, especially when dealing with internet services that are really global.