German Officials Dislike Facebook Like Button

The authorities of Schleswig-Holstein province in Germany have asked all state agencies to shut down their Facebook fan pages, and remove the Facebook “Like” button from their websites.

Taking a rather tough stand on the issue, the state authorities have also warned that any sites failing to comply by the order could face a hefty fine of up to 50,000 euros (near about $72,000).

To remove the “Like” button from their website, all state agencies have been issued a deadline which will expire on September 30.

The order to ban the “Like” button and close all Facebook fan pages was issued by the data protection commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein, Thilo Weicher. Apparently, in Weicher’s opinion, both the features in offering from the US based social networking giant are actually direct violations of the German and European data protection laws.

According to Weicher, since both the Facebook fan page as well as the Like button results in extraction and sending the content of a Germany based organisation's site directly to the social networking giant’s servers in the US, it is very much against both the German and European data protection laws.

Facebook, on the other hand defended itself by saying that it abides by all the terms and conditions imposed by the European Union.