Unlike: Facebook’s ‘Like’ button declared illegal

Not everyone likes the ‘Like’ button. In fact, one part of Germany officially unlikes it. Or rather, they un-Gefällt mir.

The ubiquitous social plugin that has increasingly changed the way individuals and businesses reference the word itself in online culture, has been found in violation of Germany’s strict privacy laws and banned in (so far) the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

State data protection official Thilo Weichert, justified this decision by arguing that:

Data from any user who clicks the ‘like’ button – including those who are not Facebook users (which seems to be the crux of the problem for Weichert) – is immediately transmitted to a server in the United States. Weichert told German newspaper FAZ that his concern is that “Facebook can track every click on a site, how long I’m there, what I’m interested in.”

According to the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection’s press release, Facebook uses this data to create “a broad individual and for members even a personalised profile. Such a profiling infringes German and European data protection law. There is no sufficient information of users and there is no choice; the wording in the conditions of use and privacy statements of Facebook does not nearly meet the legal requirements relevant for compliance of legal notice, privacy consent and general terms of use.”

Source: Germany vs. Facebook | Siliconfilter.com

This would also imply Google’s increasingly popular +1 button will also be banned, following suit. In fact, Weichert is also telling users to “‘keep their fingers from clicking on social plug-ins’ and ‘not set up accounts’ to avoid being profiled.”

Website owners have until September 30th to remove the ‘Like’ button from their sites or face fines of up to 50,000 Euros.

There has never been a more appropriate time for a dislike button.

Source: Facebook ‘like’ button declared illegal | The Local

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Categories: Business, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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