Facebook Roundup: Facebook Credits, Hires, FriendFeed, European Privacy, Law Enforcement and Harry Potter

Facebook Trademark Another Sign of Credits Development – Although Facebook’s virtual currency, Credits, has been available on Facebook for years, and in third-party apps since last June, it is still in testing. Perhaps we’ll hear more about it at Facebook’s developer conference next month, f8? Meanwhile the company has filed a trademark application for the logo, with this description:

“Financial exchange services, namely, providing a virtual currency for use by members of an online community via computer and communication networks; facilitating the exchange and sale of services and products of third parties via computer and communication networks; incentive award programs; telecommunications services, namely electronic transmission of data, messages and information; entertainment services, namely facilitating interactive and multiplayer and single player game services for games played via computer or communication networks.”

Facebook Hires, Then Hires Some More – We reported that Facebook did a bunch of hiring this week, but we also got a tip that Corey Owens will join Facebook’s D.C.’s government affairs office, bringing the total number of employees there to four. Owens announced his departure via Facebook status update, “My Facebook status seems like the right place to do this: In just over a week I’ll be moving down Connecticut Ave to join the good folks at Facebook Washington DC! Truly psyched to work on really pressing issues with an exciting company.”

Owens also sent the following email: “I had hoped to tell each of you this face-to-face, but you’re all at the Wake Up Walkmart meeting, and I want you to hear it from me: Thursday, April 1 will be my last day at the UFCW (no, not an April Fool’s joke). I’ve accepted an offer to join Facebook’s public policy and government affairs team. I want to thank each of you for helping point me in the right direction during my time here, and hope very much that I can buy you all a beer at some point in the very near future. –Corey”

Owens previously worked at the ACLU’s Washington office, as a press secretary with the Constitution Project, a privacy group, and currently works at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

FriendFeed Transfers to Facebook – Bret Taylor announced on FriendFeed this week that FriendFeed had been transferred to Facebook’s data centers, helping to fix performance problems and giving it room to grow.

Facebook Causes the World’s Ills – Search Engine Land blogger Danny Sullivan had a “good chuckle” over a recent report that Facebook caused an increase in syphilis (or so the Daily Telegraph reported). So Sullivan looked up “Facebook causes” on Google, Bing and Yahoo and found that people commonly search for terms suggesting that Facebook causes everything from divorce to depression to cancer.

Facebook Threatens App Developer – TechDirt reported this week that Facebook was claiming trademark infringement over an app that cleans up the Facebook live feed by removing app notices. The script Greasemonkey was originally called Facebook Purity, changed to Fluff Busting Purity after Facebook complained, but apparently Facebook is still unsatisfied. This is even interesting, the report noted, because Greasemonkey is a user script that lives in a user’s browser, something Facebook has no control over.

Europe’s Privacy Battle With Facebook Continues – Swiss and German officials are looking into the privacy repercussions of Facebook allowing users to upload information about people who are not registered on the site. In a very detailed look at this issue the Associated Press reported that Europe is increasingly scrutinizing Facebook and other tech companies over the way they protect user privacy. Switzerland’s strict privacy law would require Facebook to contact the people whose information is uploaded, as well as ask permission for it to remain there whereas in Germany critics say Facebook does not exercise due diligence in obtaining necessary consent for the posting of personal information.