Facebook’s Find Friend feature that uses the emails of people not on the social network has been ruled illegal in Germany.
A Berlin regional court ruled yesterday that Facebook does not adequately inform members that email addresses imported from users will be used to contact people, even if they’re not members of the network.
The action was brought against Facebook by German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, who filed the original complaint in October 2010, stating that Facebook didn’t fully explain how Friend Finder used its information to contact people not already signed up to the network.
Facebook content ruling
The court also ruled that Facebook “improperly required” users to grant full licence to Facebook for rights of images, posts and other content uploaded. This could lead to some interesting test cases should a user try to sue to recover or claim content.
VZBV chairman Gerd Billen said the recent Facebook ruling is “a milestone”. Facebook has released a statement saying that it will review the ruling and react accordingly: “We will take a close look into the details of today’s court decision as soon as they are available and then decide on the next steps.”
The war on data – US versus the EU
This is the latest skirmish in the increasingly heated battle between US internet giants and EU courts. Recent relaxing of data regulations in the US that had lead to massive online players such as Google and Facebook facing growing opposition from European consumer protection groups as revised Ts and Cs flout EU privacy regulation.
What do you think? Are companies collecting a dangerous amount of data on us? And do you have your Facebook ID card yet? Have your say below…