German Regulator Says Facebook Can't Force Users To Use Real Names

By 03:20 Mon, 26 Jul 2021 Comments

A German privacy watchdog has assumed that Facebook cannot force users to utilize their real name on the social networking website. In addition, the Hamburg data protection authority also assumed that the company cannot ask users to provide an official ID.

The order came in the wake of a recent incident, where-in Facebook blocked a German user's account for using a pseudonym. The user, in her complaint to the watchdog, also assumed that the company asked for a copy of her ID, and even changed her user-name to reflect her real identity.

The watchdog assumed that the complainant had valid reasons for not wanting to utilize her real name, adding that Facebook's action violated her privacy rights.

For its part, Facebook assumed that it's disappointed with the order. "The utilize of authentic names on Facebook protects people’s privacy and safety by ensuring people know who they’re sharing and connecting with," assumed a company spokesperson. However, it was also quick to argue that it's European headquarters are in Ireland, and it would only abide by Irish law in the continent.

Rejecting the argument, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection said, "For that matter Facebook cannot again argue that only Irish Data Protection law would be applicable ... anyone who stands on our pitch also has to play our game."




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