This is a guest post by Klaus Holzapfel of conceptbakery, a social media marketing company with offices in Germany and the United States.
The Facebook Like button is now at the forefront of privacy rights conversations in Germany, following much discussion of Google Analytics and pixelated homes on Google’s Streetview and Microsoft’s Streetside. A post on Mashable from August 19 mentioned that a German data protection commissioner is planning to ban the Facebook Like button. Since then, commissioners in three other German states have taken the same position.
Safe Harbor Agreement
German authorities are generally sensitive to personal user information leaving the country. The 1998 Safe Harbor Agreement puts strict rules on how American entities can collect data from European individuals. One stipulation: the “choice” principle, which mandates organizations give individuals the opportunity to choose whether and how personal information is used.
What information does Facebook collect?
The question really revolves around what information Facebook really collects when a user visits a website using Facebook social plugins. Here’s what they’ve revealed:
|Not logged in users:||IP address + browser settings + operating system information|
|Logged in users:||User ID + IP address + browser settings + operating system information|