Facebook: the universal platform for individuals and businesses. However there has been much speculation about how much of your information remains confidential and how much of it becomes freely available to the Facebook Headquarters and others.
Those using Facebook in the northeastern parts of Germany have been warned to avoid the “Like” button. All government sites within Scheswig- Holstein, (the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany) have been requested by the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection to dismiss every Facebook plug- in. If they do not comply with this request, they will possibly face a fine of about EU€50 000.
This request comes after a press release announced that by pressing the “Like” button or becoming a fan of a page on Facebook, Facebook users become victims of infringement laws. If a Facebook user takes this action their profile and all the information on it becomes available to the Facebook Headquarters in the United States. Germany’s online privacy laws do not under any circumstances support this.
German government websites have removed the “Like” button however other suggestions have been made, such as avoiding Facebook completely. In the mean time, German online authorities are working with Facebook to develop a common understanding and set of privacy issues.
Hosting Facebook competitions and promotions; what are you legally required to do?
Facebook has become one of the most common and popular platforms for companies of all sizes to advertise and host competitions on. Recently released, Facebook has notified these parties of promotional rules. (Promotion Guidelines)
These clearly state than anyone wishing to promote on Facebook is fully responsible for every part of that promotion. All promotions on Facebook MUST include all of the below:
- Complete release of Facebook (every participant)
- Clearly state that Facebook in NO way sponsored, administered, is associated with or endorsed the promotion
- Disclose that participant is supplying information (not to Facebook)
Furthermore any promotion has to be administered within Apps on Facebook, (Canvas page or an app.) With regards to voting or entering a competition, companies cannot ask participants to “Like” a page and may under no circumstance, communicate to winners or participants by sending Facebook messages, posting a comment or using Chat.
For further terms and conditions regarding hosting a competition on Facebook read the Promotion Guidelines.