Facebook once again under fire from German privacy watchdog

A new chapter has been added to Facebook’s ongoing story of quarrels with Germany’s data protection authorities. The social network has been again subject to an order by the regulator of Schleswig-Holstein in light of its terms of use regarding privacy matters. Both Facebook Inc., USA, and Facebook Ltd., Ireland, received formal requests on 14 December 2012 requiring them to cease a registration which asks users for their actual names.

German Data Protection law provides that a web service provider shall offer an anonymous use of web services where this is technically possible and reasonable. Therefore, the German regulator claims, it should be made possible to use Facebook by registering with pseudonyms. The “real name requirement” would neither prevent abuse of the service with regard to insults or provocations nor would it help to prevent identity theft…

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