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Facebook Enters Code of Conduct

PRIVACY LAW—GERMANY

September 8, 2011

The Local reports that Facebook has agreed to enter into a voluntary code of conduct after Schleswig-Holstein's Independent Centre for Privacy Protection concluded that certain Facebook features--such as the "like" button--violate both the German Telemedia Act and the Federal Data Protection Act. Data Protection Commissioner Thilo Weichert threatened Schleswig-Holstein websites with fines of up to €50,000 if "like" buttons were not removed by the end of September, and, according to the report, it is not clear if the agreement will stave off fines. "With Facebook's willingness to sign up for this self-regulation...the debate over the extent to which German data protection law applies to Facebook has been considerably defused," the Interior Ministry said.
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