Facebook Gets To Keep Real Names Policy In Germany

Facebook has won a court case against a German privacy entity that objected to its "real names" policy.

A court in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany has ruled that Facebook can maintain its real names policy, which in some senses violates strict Germany laws guaranteeing the right to privacy, because Facebook's regional HQ is in Ireland—where the laws are less strict. The original challenge had been made by the Schleswig data protection body, and it has already said it plans to appeal the new ruling.

Facebook's argument is that a real names policy protects its users. Like other big tech players from the U.S. and elsewhere, Facebook has run into difficulties with German law before. China, famed for its state-level censorship of free online speech has recently enacted its own edict that all online activity must be carried out under a genuine real-life ID.

Is Facebook's "real names" policy actually in the best interests of its users? Should you be able to have a pseudonym account?

[Image: Flickr user quinnanya]

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6 Comments

  • Leak

    Youtube is trying to do a real name thing too.

    Frankly gieven how our governments lie at greta depth to us, you need some areas to tlak without your anem up.

    I know they can and probably

    I also have 3 youtube account, one for me under psuedonym, and two for work related areas. I dont wnat work and priavte mixed their either.

    If thye want us to be so open, then then governments and corportaions better opn up to and stop lying

    People who go on about the free market is the best, well the economist who also brought forward that idea also said information but be open and run freely and have transparency and he said that well over 120 year ago.

    When they do that first then I will be happy to use my real name.

    Hemp got suppressed (the plant without less than 0.2 % thc, not marijuana) by the suppossed bastions of the free market and the usa imports usd 265 billion in oil and every veicle in the USA could be ruuning on hemp gorown on 6% of the arable land.

    If they can pull somethiong that big and thats just one of 10,000+ things you can do with industrial hemp, well what other trevesties have thye enacted on

    Hemp is a great food source and probably in the last 70 years more peoplle have died from starvation due  its suppression from our mindse,t  than Jews died at the hands of the Nazi's.

    We know thats not only a travesty but a crime against humanity and so wa sthe active suppression of hemp by rich priavte interests.

    You know ford madethe model t ford, but did you know he grew 10,000 acres of hemp and ran 40,0000 cars from it for ayear in the 1920's

    We need avenues of expression and the power that be dont like the flack they get from the avenue's bnamely the internet they opened up.
     
    The suppresion of the inventions of royal r rife for healtha nd wow think that one out, look really deepl;y into that one

    IT goes on and on. Your real vote is how and with whom you spend you next dollar.

  • chooseheatlhy

    Facebook is too heavy handed. The real name policy is fine. But they also have a policy that you can't have two accounts.  My FB personal page is just that, for family and friends only.  I don't want my boss and professional colleagues there any more than I'd want them in my home.  I don't rag about my job on my personal page, and it's a clean, wholesome family page. But I don't want professional associates there, period. But when I opened a FB page for professional associates, FB blocked me out of that page, wanted me to send them a copy of a governmnt issued id, which I refused.  I will probably end up closing FB completely one of these days. And with the ads and all the other reposting (political and otherwise) that people do from nonpersonal sources on FB, it's just not enjoyable anymore.

  • daposter

    this is not about anonymity: it is about the protection of personal data.
    the personal data of FB users in Germany are actually stored outside of Germany, where data protection laws would allow all kinds of things (like selling, or not having a really well protected data center, protected from all employee access to the stored data).
    These people want German data protection rules applied, or ability to enter whatever.

    FB is in the business of harking YOUR data, YOU are the product.
    That's why their data is not stored in Germany, but in Ireland, country who willingly does anything to get the 20 or so jobs located there.

    And yes, while registration should be with real names, one should be able to have theme oriented pseudomyms, for the friends community, 'privacy' between your friends, not just the frequently intentionally 'oops' lifted 'privacy' of FB, so employers don't need to know who knows who and what they say about that work place.

    But, that FB thing is not about YOU, it is about YOU THE PRODUCT being sold as often and for as much as possible 

  • Donnathompson936

    It's a good policy to use one's own name, because it enables responsibility.  When a pseudo name is used, it enables people to hide from their comments they've made, but the responsibility is there regardless if one uses their real name or a pseudo.

  • Ricardo Alfredo Espinosa Perez

    Facebook is for real people who are not afraid of what they say... if you want to be anonymous and not responsible for what you say, go to twitter.