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DPA Says Site May Be Illegally Tracking Users

PRIVACY LAW—GERMANY

November 3, 2011

The New York Times reports that Hamburg's data protection authority has said that Facebook may be illegally tracking subscribers through the use of cookies, even after a user deletes an account. After an investigation into the way cookies are installed after an account is created and deleted, Data Protection Commissioner Johannes Caspar said, "The probe raises the suspicion that Facebook is creating user tracking profiles." Such profiles would be illegal if a user was not alerted, according to the report. "Arguments that all users have to remain recognizable after they leave Facebook to guarantee the service's security can't stand up," Caspar said. A Facebook statement says the company is seeking an "open channel of communication" with Caspar, while another statement adds that it "does not track users across the Web." (Registration may be required to access this story.) 
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