A German data protection official is taking Facebook to task, accusing the social networking site of violating the country's strict privacy laws.
A German data protection official has started legal proceedings against
Facebook due to privacy concerns.
Johannes Caspar, head of the Hamburg
office for data protection, accused the social networking site of illegally
accessing and saving personal
data of non-users, according
to the Associated Press
. Caspar said his office has begun taking legal
steps that could end in Facebook being fined thousands of euros for saving
information belonging to people who haven't granted the site access to their
"We consider the saving of data from third parties, in this context, to
be against data privacy laws," Caspar said in a statement.
Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications at Facebook, confirmed
the company had received a letter from Caspar.
"We are currently reviewing it and will readily respond to it within the
given timeframe," he said in an e-mail. "Millions of Germans come to Facebook
each day to find their friends, share information with them and connect to the
world around them."
At issue seems to be e-mail addresses in users' address books on the
permit users to prohibit access to the contacts listed in
their e-mail. However, Caspar contends the previously saved contacts have not
been erased and are being used for marketing.
"It is a system that is designed around making it possible for Facebook
to expand, for its own benefit," Caspar told the Associated Press.
According to reports, Facebook has until Aug. 11 to respond formally to the