The data protection authority for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has declared business use of Facebook and Facebook "like" buttons illegal. All businesses in Schleswig-Holstein have until the end of the September 2011 to remove "like" buttons and close their Facebook pages.
Here's a quick summary of why. The full announcement is below.
1) Data is transmitted to the USA without proper notification to users. Lack of proper notification is illegal under European and German privacy laws.
2) Data is used to create online profiles and track people for 2 years. Creation of online profiles and cross-site tracking is illegal in Germany and under EU laws unless prior informed consent is given. Browser settings do not constitute informed consent.
3) Facebook's privacy statement and T&C's are vague, confusing, uninformative, and therefore illegal under German requirements. This means, even if you read and agreed, you still would not have given informed consent.
Their final comment: "Institutions must be aware that they cannot shift their responsibility for data privacy upon Facebook or the users."
Here is the entire text of the English-language announcement:
P R E S S R E L E A S E
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