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back to article German authorities park tanks on Facebook's lawn

Facebook has once again been criticised by a data protection authority in Germany for siphoning off information about the country's citizens to servers based in the US. This time the company's "like" button and "pages" feature have been attacked by DPA officers in the Northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. On …

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Weibchen?

That's an interesting new insult.

"Bitch" would normally be translated as "Schlampe"

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Lost in translation

The use of "... bitch" by Zuckerberg is extremely idiomatic and does not translate directly. I don't think either "Schlampe" or "Weibstück" (a better alternative than Weibchen) are appropriate in a phrase that could just as easily have been "... nigger" or "... asshole" or simply "... dude".

Good decision by the ULD, let's see whether anyone's got the balls to enforce it.

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oi! facebook!!

for you zee web2.0 is ofer

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Facepalm

Do FaceBook have the right to choose which laws to obey?

The story is about breaking German *state* and *federal* laws. Facebook are claiming they're not breaking EU law. Last thing I knew there are no EU LAWS concerning privacy, only DIRECTIVES which are up to each country to enact in law as they see fit.

Next they will be claiming that everyone is only subject to US law regardless of where you live.

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claiming that everyone is only subject to US law regardless of where you live

now where would they get such an idea....

oh yes the dude who lives at the end of pensylvania avenue.

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Danke! Ihr habt meinen Tag gemacht!

Register!

I love you!

A German in love

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Megaphone

When oh when ....

... will folk understand that doing anything via the internet is basically doing it in public! Especially so if you volunteer as "product" in the market for profiling i.e. Face Book etc. The marketeers, and others aside, are grabbing every bit of vaguely useful data on our activities because they want to sell more and more sh*t to us and do it cheaply in comparison to traditional advertising etc.

It's tantamount to doing your business in public, in the High Street, on a *Sepp Blatter with a freekin megaphone. (*special thanks to Hugh Dennis).

Get orf it now, do you hear!, get the pen and paper out !

The "NET" is an evil place!

>IF RANT OVER goto $var "Have A little lie down"

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Black Helicopters

The counterargument . . .

. . . is that it doesn't *have* to be that way. Back in the Internet's salad days, there were sufficiently few people using it that, if you talked to enough people, you could probably track down the real identity of an individual, but no one (except possibly the FBI) was explicitly gathering personal information. If you were an asshole in a moderated forum, you got banned, but you could easily come back with an alt. Facebook and Google are now working hard to tie your Internet identity to your real identity AND scarf up a mess of data about you. Exactly how bad that is depends on your perspective and what you personally get up to, but I don't think anyone would disagree that giant databases of information which can be used to tie up vast amounts of personal data which can then be used to identify the proclivities of specific individuals and/or commit crimes of data, identity, and financial theft and fraud constitute a tremendous risk to the people whose information in those databases.

The typical El Reg reader seems to be of the perspective that people who use Facebook or other social media (or indeed the Interwebs at all without 7 proxies and a pseudonym) get whatever they deserve. This perspective fails to acknowledge that most people are not aware of these issues to the same extend that most Reg commentards are and further does not address the fact that at least a subset of this information can be scarfed in by illicit/clueless Web programmers.

I personally try not to put anything on the Internet that I wouldn't want my mother to see, but not everyone is so careful. In any case, when one shares information with one's friends, one probably doesn't expect to see that information spewed out for the world to see, regardless of the content.

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Pint

Read Before Commenting

So what if Facebook is building a personal profile of you and selling it? You said that was OK when to agreed to their terms of service. Didn't you? Huh? You didn't? Did you not read the agreement you signed? Why not?

People expect great things to be available to them at no cost. Just because it's online doesn't mean its costing nothing. Being able to "socialize" with your friends is expensive. Someone has to pay. Who's it going to be? You?

Of course it is you. YOU are what is being sold. You agreed to sell all your information and buying habits when you signed on to the 'great' service that is being offered for 'free'. In exchange for making new 'friends' and growing your 'circles' you sold your identity. You sold your soul. Did you not understand that?

No. You probably didn't. Very few individuals understand the contracts they are agreeing to when they sign up for new online services. Hundreds, even thousands of people review each update to the TOS for major sites just to make sense of them, and even then there is rarely a consensus. At the end of the day "if you aren't paying for it, you are the product".

You are not entitled to socialize with people using someone's service. Someone has to get paid for delivering that 99.5% reliable service. You've either got to pay with your $$$, or pay with your online identity, or not use the services.

It isn't too hard to not use those services. I have a real life (IRL for geeks) social circle made up of real people that I can poke - one way or the other...

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FAIL

You don't understand

The decision doesn't refer directly to Facebook directly, where you're quite right that, in general, if people agree to the terms of service, then they have to live with the consequences*. It's about sites adding the "Track me", sorry, "Like" button to their pages. This causes tracking code to loaded without prior consent and is, thus, in breach of German and now EU law.

* A separate case can be made for the scope of the data collected and the form of agreement which is why Facebooks extension of biometric data has been challenged by German authorities. Then there are the problems about safe harbour. EU law has fairly strict rules about where and how personal data can be stored which is why SWIFT had to create a European data centre for banking transactions to stop the FBI and others snooping at will.

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Happy

fetch the piano wire...

it's ze cooler for you facebook!

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Facepalm

*points to row of symbols at bottom of page*

'nuff said?

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Coat

well done Germany.

it's a shame that the UK gov have no integrity to do the same - which is why i always lie about my name, age, and personal details on any site where they don't 'actually' require my personal info

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Anonymous Coward

One question

Were are the servers located at ? are they in Germany or are they in the US ?

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