Header graphic for print
Technology Law Source Mapping the evolving legal landscape

Tag Archives: facebook

Data Protection in Social Networks

Posted in Privacy, Social Media

 In a statement published on December 8, 2011, the Association of German Data Protection Agencies known as the “Duesseldorfer Kreis,” (“DK”) issued an opinion summarizing the minimum compliance criteria for operators of social networks in Germany:

  • Transparent privacy policy and informed consent are essential for protecting the right to data privacy
  • Opt-out solutions are insufficient, all privacy settings must be on the basis of opt-in selections
  • Users must have simple access to their stored personal data
  • Facial recognition features require express, confirmed consent
  • No tracking profiles without the informed consent of the user
  • Obligation to delete data after the termination of the membership
  • Social plug-ins on the websites of German operators are not compliant with data protection laws unless they are covered by informed consent and provide the opportunity for the user to prevent the data transfer
  • Social networks must protect user data through implementation of suitable privacy controls; operators must be able to demonstrate that such measures were taken
  • Minors require particular protection and information regarding the processing of personal data must be easily comprehensible to them
  • Social networks located outside the EEA must nominate an agent in Germany who serves as the contact person for the DPAs

The opinion, however, is not limited to this rather generic list of minimum requirements. Instead, it takes the opportunity to address two of the most pressing issues which have dominated the discussion of social networks and their commitment to data privacy over the past several months.…


Continue Reading →

Will Facebook soon be privacy-friendly?

Posted in Privacy

FTC Audit Agreement
According to various news reports, Facebook and the FTC are about to enter into an agreement which will subject Facebook to privacy audits for the next 20 years. The agreement will apparently require Facebook to obtain prior express consent before making public any information to which the user had granted limited access only. The agreement is a direct response to complaints over the changes Facebook made to its privacy policy in 2009, when previously private information became accessible to the public and users had to take active steps in order to return to their accustomed privacy settings.…


Continue Reading →

Still think consent is easy?

Posted in Privacy

In my last entry I stressed the importance of complying with the various consent requirements hidden in European data protection laws. To prove my point and to illustrate further the high standards imposed by the German Data Protection Law, a regional German DPA (das “Unabhängige Landeszentrum für Datenschutz” in Schleswig Holstein or “ULD”) has taken aim at Facebook’s data privacy practices by sending cease and desist letters to all website operators located in the area who incorporate the “like” button and other Facebook plugins on their pages. Operators have until the end of September to deactivate these features or face up to € 50,000 in fines.[1]


Continue Reading →

Maintaining Perspective Important in Evaluating Employee Social Media Posts

Posted in Social Media

Facebook and other social media have had a real impact on the workplace–from influencing hiring and termination decisions to creating a new spin on issues relating to trade secrets, workplace privacy, and employee computer usage policies.  As this post from our sister blog EmployerLawReoprt.com reminds us, each situation should be evaluated on its own merits.…


Continue Reading →