Germany: Federal Minister of Consumer Protection against Facebook and the “like”-button

Some weeks ago the  Data Protection Commissioner’s Office of Schleswig-Holstein asked to all institutions in the federal state to shut down their fan pages on Facebook and to remove social plug-ins such as the “like”-button from their websites (see this post). Now this position is partially adopted by the Federal Minister of Consumer Protection Ilse Aigner, in a letter sent to all federal ministries. According to Spiegel the Minister has reached this conclusion: “after a thorough legal review, I consider it essential to ensure that the Facebook button is not used on official government websites in our respective responsibilities”.

Last year, in a letter sent to Mr. Zuckerberg, the Minister expressed some critical remarks concerning the data protection policies adopted by Facebook.

All these official positions demonstrate the need to define a comprehensive framework of data protection in the interest of people, institutions and companies. However, the positions on both sides of the Atlantic seem still different. Although in the United States the level of protection for personal data is likely to increase in the future, becoming closer to Europe, the process of revising the Directive on data protection will give the European citizens a stronger protection, so the difference between these systems will remain unchanged.

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