German privacy watchdog loses Facebook appeal

April 24, 2013

A German privacy watchdog has failed in its bid to stop Facebook from forcing users to register with their real names.

Schleswig-Holstein state's data protection office had argued that the ban on fake names breaches German privacy laws and European rules designed to protect free speech online.

But a state appeals court has confirmed a lower tribunal's ruling that German privacy laws don't apply to Facebook because the social networking site has its European headquarters in Ireland, where privacy rules are less stringent.

Thilo Weichert said in a statement Wednesday that he would accept the ruling, but urged lawmakers to consider changing legislation to harmonize privacy laws across the European Union.

Facebook officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Explore further: German privacy watchdog dislikes Facebook's 'Like'


Related Stories

Facebook updates data use policy to give more info

May 11, 2012

(AP) -- Facebook is updating its data use policy in an attempt to give users more clarity on how the information they share is used by the company. The move comes a week ahead of its expected initial public offering of stock.

German official: Facebook must delete faces (Update)

August 15, 2012

(AP) — A German data protection official called Wednesday for social networking site Facebook to delete biometric profiles of people stored without their explicit consent, saying they breach European privacy rules.

German group gives Facebook privacy deadline

August 27, 2012

(AP)—A consumer protection group Germany has sent Facebook a 'cease and desist' letter that claims the social-networking website breaches German privacy law.

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.