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The German state of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered state institutions to shut down their Facebook Pages and remove the “Like” button from their websites — or face fines.
Schleswig-Holstein’s data-protection commissioner, Thilo Weichert, says that an analysis from his office shows thatFacebook builds profiles of both users and non-users with data collected by the Like button, reports the Associated Press. If true, this would violate German and European data protection laws.
In a statement, the data-protection organization urged Internet users “to keep their fingers from clicking on social plugins” like the Like button to avoid being profiled.
“We firmly reject any assertion that Facebook is not compliant with EU data protection standards,” a Facebook spokesperson said in another statement. “The Facebook Like button is such a popular feature because people have complete control over how their information is shared through it. For more than a year, the plugin has brought value to many businesses and individuals every day. We will review the materials produced by the ULD [the data protection agency], both on our own behalf and on the behalf of web users throughout Germany.”
According to Facebook, the only information that the company receives when a user who is not signed in hits the Like button is an IP address.
German regulators have clashed with Facebook before. Earlier this month, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg warned that Facebook’s new automatic photo-tagging feature could violate European privacy laws.

More ?

The German State of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered all state sites to remove Facebook's "like" button. Sites that fail to comply could face fines of up to 50,000 euros, or about $72,000.
Schleswig-Holstein's data protection commissioner, Thilo Weicher, ordered the shutdown after an analysis by his office showed that Facebook builds profiles of users and non-users alike with the "like" button's data. Because such data collection violates Germany's data protection laws, Weicher has given websites operated in Schleswig-Holstein until September 30th to remove all "like" buttons.
Facebook has issued its own statement in response to Weicher's claims. The company has denied Weicher's claims and insists that the "like" button is compliant with European Union data protections standards. According to Facebook, the "like" button only collects the IP addresses of non-users, and even that information is deleted after 90 days.

The European Union--and Germany in particular--has much stricter online privacy laws than does the United States. In fact, this isn't the first time Facebook has clashed with Germany's strict privacy laws--earlier this month, German authorities in Hamburg asked the social networking giant to shut down its facial recognition feature. The EU advisory board also announced it would be looking into Facebook's facial recognition feature, and any EU privacy laws such a feature might violate.

Source MAshable and  PCworld

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