September 9th, 2011

Facebook Agrees Voluntary Code Of Conduct With Germany Over Privacy Concerns


Facebook said Thursday that it will sign a voluntary code of conduct agreement with Germany to help protect user data in the country. This marks the first time that Facebook has agreed to such a measure in a country that is sensitive about privacy.

According to, Facebook Director of European Public Policy Richard Allan met with Hans-Peter Friedrich, Germany’s interior minister. Following the meeting, Allan said, “We support this initiative towards self-regulation. … It can be a very effective way to protect the interests of Internet users.”

“With Facebook’s willingness to sign up for this self-regulation … the debate over the extent to which German data protection law applies to Facebook has been considerably defused,” Germany’s Interior Ministry said.

Facebook has come under fire from German officials and politicians over data protection in recent months. In July, politicians called for parties that are organized on Facebook to be banned, after several gatherings advertised on the social network became violent. Last month, Germany threatened Facebook with legal action over its facial recognition system if it did not delete data it collected on users in the country through the system. A data protection official in the country also ordered state institutions to remove the Like button from their websites and shut down any Facebook pages they might manage.

However, following Thursday’s deal, it seems that Facebook and Germany have come to an agreement over how to avoid these privacy concerns in the future.

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