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German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms

 
smilesun
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User ID: 30217063
Italy
12/18/2012 11:49 AM
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German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
The data-protection agency in one German state ordered the social network to end its policy of requiring members to establish accounts under their real names. Other states may follow.

Facebook is on the hot seat in Germany for requiring users to use their real names instead of pseudonyms.
The data protection agency Unabhaengiges Landeszentrum fuer Datenschutz (ULD) in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered Facebook to put a halt to its real name policy, citing a German law that allows people to use pseudonyms online. The agency pointed to that law as one that guarantees the "fundamental right to freedom of expression on the Internet."
The ULD's order so far only applies in Schleswig-Holstein, although other German states may follow its lead.
Facebook's policy of insisting that members use real names is designed to protect against the abuse of user accounts. Facebook's name policy specifically states that using real first and last names helps people know who they're connecting with and keeps the online community safe.
The ULD doesn't buy that argument, saying that "the real name obligation does neither prevent abuse of the service for insults or provocations nor does it help prevent identity theft." And beyond that, the policy is against the law, the ULD insists.
"It is unacceptable that a U.S. portal like Facebook violates German data protection law unopposed and with no prospect of an end," Thilo Weichert, the country's privacy commissioner and the head of ULD, said in a statement. "The aim of the orders of ULD is to finally bring about a legal clarification of who is responsible for Facebook and to what this company is bound to."

Read more [link to news.cnet.com]
Anonymous Coward
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Germany
12/18/2012 11:55 AM
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Re: German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
"We believe the orders are without merit, a waste of German taxpayers' money and we will fight it vigorously," a Facebook spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
[link to www.itworld.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 3983664
Norway
12/18/2012 12:08 PM
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Re: German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
I never understood why any right minded person would post a real name, pictures and personal info openly on the internet....
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 30327651
Italy
12/19/2012 11:24 AM
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Re: German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
"We believe the orders are without merit, a waste of German taxpayers' money and we will fight it vigorously," a Facebook spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
[link to www.itworld.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30144160


Smiley
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 748763
United States
12/19/2012 11:36 AM
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Re: German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
I made a FB account w/ a pseudonym. Am I going to jale?
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 30327651
Italy
12/19/2012 12:04 PM
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Re: German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
I never understood why any right minded person would post a real name, pictures and personal info openly on the internet....
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 3983664


Smiley
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 30345935
Italy
12/19/2012 04:45 PM
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Re: German state orders Facebook to allow pseudonyms
I made a FB account w/ a pseudonym. Am I going to jale?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 748763


I read this ...

I certainly don't use my real name on Facebook!

my children and family know my pseudonym.

why can't you use a fake name?

we'd love to see you there, lots of interesting discussions.

and this ...

I'm sure that the article took things out of context. My guess, without doing any research, is that the author of the four year old article is referring to the federal act that criminalized internet fraud, and he concluded that the use of a pseudonym is fraudulent, and therefore you can go to jail from not using your actual name.

I am sure that no one has actually been prosecuted for using a false name on Facebook or MySpace, and I'm sure that whatever law this nitwit is referring to does not criminalize such behavior.

Smiley

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