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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member acams's Avatar
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    FB’s ‘Like’ Button Declared Illegal In Germany

    Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button Declared Illegal In Germany. I don't understand why? As per the information I've received that it transfers huge data. Do you guys really think, it is worthwhile?

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    Looks like a bit of an overreaction to me. If you are going to go down that path, heck, go the whole hog and just ban Facebook.

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    It was declared illegal in just one state; not in the whole of Germany. It was banned because, and I quote

    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.
    See Facebook's 'Like' Button Banned by German State | PCWorld
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  4. #4
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    if facebook like button involves in data violation, why in in one state of germany, why not in the whole germany?
    does like button violates other country data too...a new topic of discussion

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    Quote Originally Posted by jannet1 View Post
    if facebook like button involves in data violation, why in in one state of germany, why not in the whole germany?
    Because the data protection commissioner from that state forbade it for that state, and he doesn't have the power to forbid it in the whole of Germany (if he had that power he probably would though).

    Just as in the USA, different states can have different laws.
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    SitePoint Member acams's Avatar
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    Will this really protect the data violation....

  7. #7
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    I've read some other comments on this situation it seems that this particular "data protection commissioner" has some unique views.

    Given that Facebook doesn't have any offices in Germany, I doubt that they care to much.

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    SitePoint Enthusiast StoneWilson's Avatar
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    This reminds me another news about Germany, Sumsang Galaxy Tab now is available in all Europe countries except Gemany, really weird...

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneWilson View Post
    This reminds me another news about Germany, Sumsang Galaxy Tab now is available in all Europe countries except Gemany, really weird...
    That's totally unrelated, and has to do with a lawsuit from Apple against Samsung. See German Ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Remains in Effect | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.
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    @AgentHomes:
    I think Facebook cares a lot, since
    1. Germany is a big market
    2. this could be the first in a series of cases made against facebook

    I am from Germany and in Germany people are very suspicious towards the IT/Internet giants(google, fb). For example there was also a great public debate (of course politicians see potential in this kind of debates) about Google Street View here.

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    I guess it all stems from that some countries e.g in Europe and Canada (where I'm from) have stricter PRIVACY legislation (vs. e.g. the US). I remember Facebook actually made some changes to accommodate concerns raised by the Privacy Commissioner here a while back.
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    SitePoint Member IT Relocation's Avatar
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    Why not block all cookies too why they're at it?!?!

    Seems a bit OTT

  13. #13
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Why not block all cookies too why they're at it?!?!
    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14961330,00.html

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    SitePoint Enthusiast pankajs's Avatar
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    There is no pint of doing that.
    Surely it could be decided by some jealous person.

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    SitePoint Addict wardcosbyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mortimerGER View Post
    @AgentHomes:
    I think Facebook cares a lot, since
    1. Germany is a big market
    2. this could be the first in a series of cases made against facebook

    I am from Germany and in Germany people are very suspicious towards the IT/Internet giants(google, fb). For example there was also a great public debate (of course politicians see potential in this kind of debates) about Google Street View here.
    It's actually really weird for me to hear news like this. I have heard several issues about facebook privacy in some countries but this is just way too complicated for me to handle. Why would they have to argue about this or about "google street view"? I might have to agree with ralph.m, they should have just banned facebook. I wonder what fb button they are going to label illegal next time around.

  16. #16
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Why would they have to argue about this or about "google street view"?
    Because banning a website in most western countries is too close to government censorship, which also scares people. If they are knowingly blocking FB in your country, what are they unknowingly blocking too? This was a popular topic in Australia, where they had/have a "public" blacklist (supposedly only of kiddie-pr0n sites) but also a secret blacklist. Which may or may not really be limited to kiddie-pr0n. See, because it's secret, the citizens don't know for sure, and have to completely trust their government. And that doesn't work in societies who think they are free.

    So Germany discusses it. So citizens can decide with a vote or something what they want. Many people do not want their houses, cars and front yards showing up on the internet via Google Maps (even though Google blurs out faces and license plates, somewhere there are the original photos sitting around... suppose Google got hacked again and someone got ahold of those and posted them? So long as they (google) have the data, and that data sits on a machine with internet connection (which, who knows, maybe they do), this is possible. It's happened before).

    So Germany banned street view, or it was banned (might not be anymore). A majority of citizens supported that. Next year, they may change their minds, who knows.

    Anyway, the problem I think FB has is its own users: they seem to think they are somehow more private than they really are, which is why most people don't worry about it. It never occurs to them that maybe their health insurance companies or their employers might be checking out their profiles, let alone spammers and advertisers and crazy who-knows people. <-- this app does not ask anything MORE than any other FB app. It's simply more explicit in telling what exactly it wants access to. Your games and hugs and hearts and whatnot have exactly the same access, and you gave it to them.

    The argument against privacy is always either: if you've got nothing to hide, then you must have no reason not to tell everyone absolutely everything about yourself, your home address and how much money you earn and walk around naked and candidly tell everyone about your herpes, because after all, you're not doing anything illegal and so have nothing to hide.
    Or it's "you chose to put that stuff online, therefore you must be okay with everyone knowing about it and discussing it".

    The second one has more merit, except the problem is people don't seem to be aware of how the internet works and think telling their FB friends their hometown isn't the same as telling every stranger in the world. They don't see the connection at all sometimes.

    My husband works for a company who places online personal notices for newspapers. The number of times someone has placed a photo or video and then call/email later and say "oh no, the image/video is showing up on Google! Can you remove it?"
    Of course he can't. Google's indexed it. That means it's Out There. There is no taking it back. Why didn't you think of that before uploading the file to a public, indexed-by-SE's site? Because people don't see the connection. They don't realise how the internet works, yet they use it regularly.

    So I don't mind laws and things to help improve privacy but I'd much rather that kids get "internets 101" in school so people can make their own decisions and they won't be dumb ones. Just because internets looks easy doesn't mean you don't need to be taught some important things.

    Heck my co-workers upstairs keep getting virusses. Likely because a) they click on or view emails with virusses and b) they click on stuff online. With Javascript on, with IE on Windows XP, and likely Java enabled too. And they are clicking on things that aren't safe. Like ads. Or Shoot The Monkey banners. Or fake "You have a message" dialogues. They could be trained to recognise these things, but they haven't been, and continue to make our internal network unsafe (no, we don't have any BOFH sysadmins around here).

  17. #17
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    This was a popular topic in Australia, where they had/have a "public" blacklist (supposedly only of kiddie-pr0n sites) but also a secret blacklist. Which may or may not really be limited to kiddie-pr0n. See, because it's secret, the citizens don't know for sure ...
    Thanks to WikiLeaks, we know that legitimate sites have been blocked too.

  18. #18
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    I think this is very goofy.

    The cookie advertiser thing I can see. It is kind of a stealthy gathering of information that nobody really knows about (aside from web developers and the like).

    The FB Like button is COMPLETELY different though. Nobody is forcing you to click that button. If you don't want to have your likes known, don't click a Like button. Simple.

    However, I don't think this is going to be a big chain reaction. I think this commissioner is just a bit extreme.

  19. #19
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Nobody is forcing you to click that button.
    No, people are clicking it out of stupidity and ignorance. And nobody's forcing anybody to accept cookies from 3rd party ads, are they?

    If they completely understand what they're doing when they click it, and they still want to, that's fine. But that's not the case.

    The cookie thing is going to screw up e-commerce. Why? Because lawmakers aren't tech-heads and they don't understand the difference between a session cookie and a 3rd-party (or 4th or 5th party!) ad serving up cookies. But nothing is preventing people from blocking cookies all on their own, is there? No.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I disagree that you aren't being forced to accept the cookies. Yes, you can turn it off. But most people don't know that and the default is "on". Also, I never said I support it. In fact, I am quite against it. However, I can at least see their reasoning behind it (even if it is flawed... does someone having an anonymous collection of your actions really hurt you? Anyone can get that information if you visit their site).

    I do agree that a lot of people click on it without understanding the full impact of their actions. However, making it illegal is a step too far. Putting your hand on a lit stove is going to hurt, a lot. Younger kids do it because they don't know the impact of their actions and do it out of ignorance. They quickly learn though, we don't make stoves illegal. =p

    I also like your Internet 101 idea, and I have seen a few news stories where some schools are essentially doing that (to a lesser degree, but better than nothing). It is kind of like driving a car... you can probably figure it out just by trial and error, but it's going to be ugly.

  21. #21
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Hm, re-reading my post it sure sounds more hostile than intended :)

    Yes, you can turn it off. But most people don't know that and the default is "on".
    Same goes for the tracking done by Like buttons. Ask mom and she might say, if she somewhat follows general news, that it does some kind of tracking for something, but no biggie. She doesn't realise it tracks her when she's logged out of Facebook for example. She might know it adjusts what kinds of ads she sees, and she might not care (or even appreciate that at least the ads are somewhat related to her interests), but she doesn't realise or know about the massive multi-gazillion-(monitaryUnit) business invested in buying and selling as much of her personal info as possible. Not just to advertisers. To everyone.

    And some of those businesses aren't businesses. US security agencies are in on it as well. I can totally imagine German citizens not wanting their info being funneled to some foreign government's dark caves. Some of us are angry that the US is insisting on our banking and health information. Hell, I'm pissed too. It's all done under the excuse of "fightin' terr'sts". Whatever. It's global spying because they can, period.
    If Germany doesn't want to be a part of that, I totally understand. Also, laws are (supposedly, in a democracy) set by the will of the people. People change their minds. Laws can be repealed or amended.
    But, on the other hand, they could go further: say they were against the NCSA and decided to make Google illegal. However, I doubt they could do that: there wouldn't be enough support and it would be too difficult. The googles, they're everywhere.

    Off Topic:


    This morning: my husband has G+. Dunno why, it's useless. But anyway lots of people in his profession who work in his language are in his circle things or whatever.
    So he did a google search for something this morning. In one of the results, underneath it, was "this was posted on (social bloggy site) by (someone in one of his circles)." One of the more blatant screwing up of search results.

    I'm so glad I've never signed up for a single google service... except I had an account on YouTube and now I can't log in since they want to force a connection with the email address they have there to Google. Luckily it's an old spammy address but I refuse to explicitly link it. Beyond that, I've managed to stay away.


    *edit removed something because I'm having trouble finding the link to it

  22. #22
    SitePoint Addict wardcosbyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    So Germany banned street view, or it was banned (might not be anymore). A majority of citizens supported that. Next year, they may change their minds, who knows.

    Thanks for you reply. I really appreciate that.

    The thing is though, so are we to think that Most people in Germany don't like Google street view? That would also mean they supported/sustained or maybe recommended to take away fb's "like" button from their country.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    We should keep in mind that "Germany" didn't decide. It was just one state in Germany. That's just like Texas (in the US) deciding to do something but saying that the US decided to do that which would be VERY far from accurate.

  24. #24
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    It was just one state in Germany.
    still has voting citizens.

    So far as I know, the google street view ban was country-wide.

  25. #25
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    Yes, I'm not arguing that.

    I'm just saying that generalizing the actions of one state or area in a country as being the actions as a whole country it's a bad idea. For those that live outside of the US, my analogy probably doesn't mean much... Texas is one of the most conservative states in the US and they have laws that would never pass in other areas of the country.

    I think the Google Street View is banned country wide as well, which means that "Germany" did decide to ban it. However "Germany" didn't ban the like button (at least not yet), just one portion.

    All I'm saying.


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