German authorities claim Facebook ‘Like’ violates privacy laws

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Facebook users in a northeastern German state have been told to stay away from the “Like” button (Gefällt mir in German) on Facebook. Government sites within Schleswig-Holstein have been asked by the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection to remove all Facebook plug-ins or risk a possible fine of EU€50 000.

In an official press release, the centre stated that the Facebook fan pages and the “Like” button have been shown to infringe upon laws pertaining to European data privacy.

The Independent Centre for Privacy Protection also claims that user information is sent back to the United States headquarters of Facebook, where a profile of the users based on their “likes” is collected. This directly conflicts with Germany’s stringent online privacy laws.

Removing the “Like” button from government websites is only the first of many steps advised by the agency to avoid “comprehensive profiling”. The most extreme of these suggestions is that Facebook be avoided altogether. An English translation of the press release warns that: “Whoever visits facebook.com or uses a plug-in must expect that he or she will be tracked by the company for two years.”

Facebook has said that it has been working hand-in-hand with German authorities to iron out privacy issues and that the Schleswig-Holstein problem is an anomaly. Patrick Noyes, Facebook spokesperson says:

We firmly reject any assertion that Facebook is not compliant with EU data protection standards. The Facebook Like button is such a popular feature because people have complete control over how their information is shared through it. For more than a year, the plugin has brought value to many businesses and individuals every day. We will review the materials produced by the (Independent Centre for Privacy Protection), both on our own behalf and on the behalf of Web users throughout Germany.

This is not the first online privacy incident originating from Germany. Authorities recently stopped Google Street view after numerous complaints about security issues. 250 000 German households
decided to opt-out of the Google mapping program in the wake of the incident.

Facebook too has been in hot water with Germany before, with its facial recognition software being taken offline after it was shown to violate data and privacy protection laws.

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  • Grové Erasmus

    512Mb Ram and Android 2.2 ? Can one upgrade the OS yourself ? Does the 512Mb Ram limit the amount of apps one nca have installed ? I ask simply because I own a Viewsonic Viewpad 7, Android 2.2, 3G, w/512Mb Ram only and memory expansion slot. Because of only 512Mb I frequently get ‘out of memory’ error which waant to let me blow a fuse in frustration. Is memory a common  issue with all Android 2.2 devices, or only with my Viewpad 7 ? Does a device with Android 2.2, 512Mb Ram and (example) 4Gb internal also have memory errors ?

  • http://twitter.com/d0dja Roger Hislop

    It has 8GB built in storage for apps and data. The 512M internal memory limits how many you can have running at one time, not how many you can install — 512MB RAM is pretty standard for tablets.

    But it takes microSD slots, so you can add up to an extra 32GB (why the hell don’t Samsung and Apple provide SD card expansion? Bastards).

  • Grové Erasmus

    I understand that due to the amount of base RAM (512Mb) one can only have a limited amount of apps running. How many apps can one have installed in the device? I have a Viewsonic Viewpad 7, Android 2.2, w/512Mb Ram only (and SD card slot). Even with apps2SD + 8Gb SD card I can only install a limited amount of apps (never mind running them) on the device. I am a techie, my question regarding memory and running apps are to try to find out if my frustrations with are only a Viewpad 7 related, or a general Android 2.2 issue ?
    Does the Netsurfer suffer from the same issue as the Viewpad 7 ?

    Viewpad 7, Android 2.2 (with 8Gb SD expansion) issues:
    * I use Apps2SD and cache flusher.
    * Regularly get ‘out of memory’or ‘process terminated’messages.
    * Can only install a limited amount of apps, even with 8Gb SD memory amount of installed apps limited.
    * All apps installed to SD also take up valueable RAM meaning that I can only install limited amount of apps.
    * Almost impossible to install apps larger than 2Mb and then I usually get ‘out of memory’ or process terminated’ messages.

    Question:
    Is my problem above unique to the Viewpad 7, or is this a common problem with all devices running Android 2.2 and 512mb RAM ?
    I would appreciate it if anyone with the Netsurfer can answer if they have the same problems. The above problems with Viewpad 7 have kept me from buying another Andoid 2.2/2.3 w/512Mb Ram tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/dunnyone Steven

    Hi.

    I can’t comment on your Viewpad, having never tested one. But I can tell you that I have never (or very rarely) had an “out of memory” or process terminated message. I have 100′s of apps on mine as well.

  • Naeem

    Nice tablet. I bought it a week ago. At first it took some getting used to. Joshua is correct.. I had to side load most apps.. but once you get the hang of it.. You’ll love it. It has wifi and 3G built in

  • Pingback: How to lockdown your Facebook profile in seconds | memeburn

  • http://twitter.com/dunnyone Steven

    Use Opera Mini. Fastest, best and less “expensive” on your bandwidth.

  • http://twitter.com/dunnyone Steven

    Looks good, like any other Froyo 2.2 interface.

  • Reenen Laurie

    I bought one a while back, is there any way to jailbreak it, and get rid of the slideme market?

  • Reenen Laurie

    It has WIFI… if you have access to wireless internet, it has.

  • Reenen Laurie

    I am trying to remove the SlideME market… Is there a way to jailbreak the device?  Anyone had any success?  I am trying the SnappzMarket now.

    BTW. I highly recommend “any soft keyboard” with the Afrikaans language pack if you want to type Afrikaans.

  • Reenen Laurie

    I haven’t been able to get Snappz working… Snappz just says Pleas Wait Loading… forever….

  • Reenen Laurie

    I have it on *very* good authority that in the 3rd quarter of the year, the netsurfer will be upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich.

  • Grové Erasmus

    I have a MTN Uncapped Lite 3G dongle. Can one use the SIM card from the 3G dongle in the tablet ? 
    Android allows tethering, turning your Android device into a wireless router.

  • Reenen Laurie

    Yes you can use the SIM.  2.2 FroYo doesn’t have the hotspot functionality, so you can’t do it yet.  You’ll have to wait for the ICS upgrade in the 3rd quarter of the year.

  • Johann

    I bought one to see how it works… Let me say that it is not like my Galaxy!! But that was stated in the review.. I have had some trouble side-loading but that seems to be a thing of the past. The 3G is a wonderful tool. The screen does look a bit old fashioned and the graphics not as sharp. I am however not going to fault them if the machine costs 2k!!!!!

  • Clevaan

     Will this tablet definitely be getting ICS upgrade

  • Charl Coetzer

    I would like to revise my previous comment.. Google Play market doesn’t work on the Netsurfer Touch because apparently new Tablets first need to be approved, Google has not done this yet, but in the mean time there is a very nice alternative to the Google Play market,
    http://www.1mobile.com/app/market/?cid=31, it works really well.
    http://charlway.blogspot.com/p/android-tablet.html

  • Koos van der Vyver

    It’s a great machine with awesome battery life and it does exactly what it’s suppose to do. I read my e-books on it and use handrite for making notes. Plays games at a great speed but won’t suggest using it to play games as the battery drains very quickly with that. Over all with normal use I get about 6 hours of battery life out of it. But please DO NOT FLASH ANY KIND OF SO-CALLED ROM ON THESE MACHINES, your warranty drops and future mobile is very reluctant to help in a proper way when you did make a mistake.

  • Naeem
  • tkmuparadzi

    How can I get a replacement screen for my netsurfertouch7 pliz help I can’t live without this gadget I’m stuck

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