German minister: Facebook not good enough on data

Jun 03, 2010

(AP) -- Facebook still isn't doing enough to protect users' data, Germany's consumer protection minister said Thursday, adding that she plans to give up her account.

The minister, Ilse Aigner, first raised concerns about two months ago, urging the network to upgrade its .

Last week, in response to a backlash among users, Facebook announced that it was simplifying its and applying them retroactively, so users can protect the status updates and photos they posted in the past.

Those changes were "a first step in the right direction, but I still have my doubts as to whether these improvements will really bring a true turning point," Aigner said after meeting Richard Allan, Facebook's director of European public policy.

Aigner said the meeting "unfortunately confirmed my skepticism."

She said she plans to leave the network, but will remain in contact with Facebook managers and "will not rest until data protection is improved decisively."

The changes so far aren't enough "to protect the privacy of users and to comply with our German law, which has higher standards than elsewhere in the world and America," Aigner added.

She complained that the network's data protection system remains too complicated and geared toward opting out of sharing information rather than opting in.

Aigner has also harshly criticized Inc. for failing to respect German data protection regulations through its mapping program.

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