Facebook Vs. Germany? “Like” Buttons Are Banned In a German State

It’s not like Facebook didn’t had other problems: The news about slower growth rates, Google+ storming from behined, Anonymous threatening to crash it and now another bad news- The German state of Schlewsing-Holstein has declared that Facebook buttons are illegal…

The Independent Center for Privacy Protection (ULD) of the German state is ordering all local websites to remove the “Like” buttons from their websites until September the 1st, or they will face a fine of up to about $70,000! The claim is that the plugin is violating not only the German law, but also the European law.

The ULD are stating that Facebook is collecting and tracking private information of individuals for two years and building a unique profile for its members, which is a violations of the German and European protection laws. They are also stating that it isn’t a borderline case and Facebook is not nearly close to the proper legal requirements. Therefore, all plugins and fan pages of local companies must be deactivated.

However, the ULD are not shutting their doors completely to Facebook- They are declaring that the analysis (of Facebook) will be continued, hinting that if Facebook will change some of its privacy settings, the decision may be reversed.

The Questions

This issue is rising two important questions:

1. Why only Facebook? It’s not like Facebook is the only social network around. Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ for example are taking the same internet activities just like Facebook. So why only Facebook’s plugins are banned?

2. Is it just the beginning? The German state of Schleswig-Holstein itself, can’t hurt Facebook, even slightly. Its population is less than 3 million and even if all of them are Facebook members and will stop using it, they are just 0.04% from all Facebook members. The question is if it will set in motion other moves from similar organizations across the world.