Facebook ordered to change ‘real name’ policy in Germany

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 11:17

London: Social networking giant Facebook has been asked by a German data protection body to end its policy of making members use their real names.

Data protection agency in Schleswig-Holstein said that the policy violates German laws that give people the right to use pseudonyms online.

The agency has issued a decree demanding that Facebook let people use fake names immediately.

“It is unacceptable that a US portal like Facebook violates German data protection law unopposed and with no prospect of an end,” Thilo Weichert, head of the regional data protection office in Schleswig Holstein, said in a statement.

“The ability to use a pseudonym on Facebook was reasonable and would allow people to use the service ‘without fear of unpleasant consequences’,” Weichert added.

According to the report, Facebook said it would fight the decree ‘vigorously’ and that its naming policy met European data protection rules.


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First Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 11:15

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