Facebook takes a step back in Germany

Hamburg’s data protection officer Prof. Dr. Johannes Caspar scored a victory against Facebook. Everyone’s fave social notworking site agreed to defuse its so-called Friend Finder. This fiendish tool kindly asks users to log in to their email accounts via Facebook in order for the site to peruse an unsuspecting user’s email contacts. 

Contacts are automatically stored and invited to Facebook by everyone’s favourite data trove. Invitations also cross-referenced to contacts already using the site to waste time, play games and share embarassing photos.

However, not anymore in Germany, thanks to the efforts of strapping law boffin Prof. Caspar. According to the press release, concerned Bürger wrote to his office complaining and wondering how in Great C’thulhu’s Blessed Name Facebook’s Fiend Finder had gotten hold of their data, despite not being registered users and thus third parties who had not agreed to the site using their data.

Caspar commenced negotiations with Big Brother 2.0. An agreement was reached and FriendFace stated it would include an opt-out link to invitations to third parties. By opting out, non-users will receive no further invitations and his or her email address will not be used by the multitentacled leviathan’s Fiend Finder function. Email addresses will be stored as hash values, not as text.

Furthermore, Facebook users will be allowed to manage addresses imported via Fiend Finder in an address book. Farcebook also kindly agreed to warn German users that they would be responsible for pissing off mates who would like to remain unnoticed by the all-seeing wealth generator. Caspar stated more could not be done to curb the salivating leviathan’s sadistic lust for user-conveyed data and all the juicy, profitable statistics and applications that come with it.