German Users Cause Facebook Privacy Change

Facebook has agreed to change its Friend Finder service in Germany, allowing users to better protect their email contacts and prevent them from receiving unwanted solicitation and advertisement from Facebook. According to German officials, after receiving complaints from German users, the officials began investigating Facebook in July of 2010. Initially, they requested that Facebook deactivate the Friend Finder service entirely within Germany. Negotiations between German officials and Facebook subsequently occurred over the past several months culminating in this announcement. Germany is home to some of the world’s most stringent privacy laws, with violations resulting in penalties of up to $410,000. The Facebook investigation is similar to another recent investigation involving the German government and Google. After initially being investigated by the German government last year, the internet search company allowed German users to remove photos of their homes in Google’s Street View technology.New York Times: Facebook Makes Deal with German Privacy Group (24 January 2011) (Source: New York Times)