Facebook ordered to stop requiring real name use in Germany

first_imgFacebook has always enforced a strict policy of only allowing an account to be setup using your real name. Fake name accounts are registered, but as soon as Facebook discovers one, it gets deleted. Whether you like the real name policy or not, it’s here to stay, unless of course you live in Germany.According to the Thilo Weichert, privacy commissioner for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ULD) in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Facebook is breaking the law by insisting on real name use. Weichert states that the policy actually breaks data protection law and has demanded the social network allow nicknames to be used immediately.Facebook has made it clear they intend to fight the demand, stating it is up to the service to decide its own rules while remaining within the law. However, if Weichert is correct, then Facebook may indeed be breaking German data protection law already. If Facebook intends to fight the decision, it has two weeks to bring the case to court.For the moment, the demand is restricted to the state of Schleswig-Holstein. However, Weichert has already been in contact with many of the other 15 German states and says most of them agree that Facebook needs to change its real name policy. If that’s the case, then Germany could soon become the first country to gain the right to use nicknames on Facebook.Would Facebook accept that, or instead stop providing a service to German users until such a time the real name policy is enforceable there?More at ULD, via ITWorldlast_img read more