The Washington Post

Facebook ‘Like’ button violates privacy laws, German official rules

Facebook said that it firmly believes its Like button is in compliance with EU standards. (Anonymous/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The official, Thilo Weichert, told The Local that the plug-in tracks user habits in violation of German and European Union privacy laws. He has demanded that Web sites based in the northern district of Germany he represents, Schelswig-Holstein, remove “Like” buttons from their sites face a $72,000 (50,000 euros) fine.

In a statement, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the company is confident its plug-in complies with EU law.

“We firmly reject any assertion that Facebook is not compliant with EU data protection standards,” he said. “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.”

Noyes said that the company will examine the materials produced by the court.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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