Facebook Wins (Temporary) Reprive From Fake Names In Germany

Facebook-AdsThe AP is reporting that a German court has invalidated a decision of the German privacy regulator, which opposes Facebook’s real names/identities policy. Privacy regulators oppose the Facebook policy on the grounds that German and European privacy and free-speech rules prohibit a ban on fake names.

However the court’s decision is not based on German law. According to the AP report, “The administrative court in northern German Schleswig argued in its ruling Thursday that German privacy laws weren’t applicable because Facebook has its European headquarters in Ireland – which has less far-reaching rules.”

This decision would loosely fall under the heading of “choice of law” in the US, where courts are compelled to decide whose laws apply in situations where two states or federal and state law differ.  In this case, Ireland’s law was applied rather than domestic German law.

The data protection regulator said it would appeal the court’s decision.

It’s almost certain that a higher court will not allow the lower-court decision to stand. Otherwise the legal implication would be that German law doesn’t apply to companies doing business in Germany but headquartered outside the country.

Under US law companies doing business in the country are subject to US rules and regulations. There may be very isolated legal circumstances where exceptions are made — but not many.

The German court’s decision is not unlike a foreign-owned oil company being permitted to ignore US environmental rules because those in its home country are looser.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Facebook: Business Issues | Facebook: Legal | Facebook: Privacy | Legal: Privacy | Top News

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!