Unfriending Decision: Germany’s Highest Court Rules “Friend Finder” To Be An Unlawful Marketing Practice

200px-Facebook.svggavel2There is an interesting ruling out of Germany where the country’s highest court declared Facebook’s “friend finder” feature to be unlawful as a deceptive marketing practice. The case was filed by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV).

The feature invites users to grant it permission to vacuum up the email addresses of friends or contacts in the user’s address book. Facebook then sends an invitation to non-Facebook users to join the service. Two lower courts said that the feature violates laws on data protection and unfair trade practices.

The feature is obviously a big part of Facebook’s growth and recently it was announced that it was available on Xbox. That raises a serious issue with how to comply with this change with not just legal but marketing impacts. This is a huge economy and such products may have to be made on a dual track to avoid violations.

11 thoughts on “Unfriending Decision: Germany’s Highest Court Rules “Friend Finder” To Be An Unlawful Marketing Practice”

  1. Not much different from our no call list. Worse would be for everyone to get a handle to get on a no facefx list. My. Friends arent marketing me….unles they want direct tv. Hwd that do? This is all a scam to tie ip to ppl to get on a no call list. Sa m e reason im the winner all tge time for a wal n art or a m azon card. End game identification.

  2. At least FaceBook asks. There are several groups that slip the permission request into the fine print of their agreement (which no one actually reads) then start spamming everyone in your address book. I frequently get these friend finder messages from Face Book and simply delete them.

  3. Scienegeek apparently posted before even reading the title: “Germany’s highest court.”

  4. This decision will have implications for other social media platforms in Germany as well, . But I think it´s a good decision and a long time coming to it. Or rather a long time for Facebook to come to terms with the fact that you have to follow the rules in the country in which you are living/doing business.

  5. A small part of the evasiveness of the interweb….Governments don’t track your phone(on the web & around town) as much as private companies do…

    I don’t think many people realize just how much they are tracked…

  6. There are guys out there going through trash cans all around America. They look for credit card information so they can ripe the person off.

  7. I call Facebook : “uttBaybook” Why would anyone show their butt to the world? There is not a dog on there. Dogs are smart. Seek some guidance from a dog if you are on that dumb website.

Comments are closed.