The data-protection commissioner for the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Thilo Weichert, took his campaign against Facebook’s insistence that users provide their real names up a notch, threatening to fine the social network £16,000 ($20,877) if it refuses to abolish that policy.
It is unacceptable that a U.S. portal like Facebook violates German data-protection law, unopposed and with no prospect of an end.
Weichert told The Guardian Facebook filed for legal protection at the administrative court in Schleswig-Holstein, but the social network has not changed its position, and a Facebook spokesman told the newspaper the charges by the agency, ULD Schleswig-Holstein, were “without merit” and a “waste of German taxpayers’ money,” and the company would fight “vigorously.”
Jörg Hladjk, a lawyer specializing in data protection at Hunton & Williams in Brussels, told The Guardian:
I think it is not very likely that Facebook will change its business model for one country, or even just one region in Germany. Just from a business perspective, this does not make a lot of sense.
Readers: Should Facebook users be required to provide their actual names?