German State Bans Facebook 'Likes'

The German state of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered its administrative websites to be shut down and all Facebook “like” buttons to be removed. The state’s data-protection commissioner said an analysis proved that Facebook builds profiles on both users and nonusers through the “like” button, which he says violates German and EU data-protection laws. His organization released a statement urging citizens to “keep their fingers from clicking on social plug-ins” to prevent data about them from being collected. Facebook shot back: “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.”