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Facebook Agrees Privacy Deal With German Regulator Over Friend Finder

Facebook has agreed to add more privacy protection features to its Friend Finder feature, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg has said.

Johannes Caspar, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg, told the AFP that the company has agreed to inform users that it had obtained their e-mail address using the Friend Finder service and give them the option to prevent their future usage.

Once people opt-out of Facebook's directory, Caspar said, the company has agreed to encrypt their e-mail address so that they don't appear anywhere else in the future.

"We hope to carry out the deal fast and we will follow it closely," he added.

Caspar said he had contacted Facebook after a number of German Internet users complained that they had received requests to join Facebook accompanied with photos of their friends.

In response, Facebook said it was pleased with the outcome of the discussions with the data protection supervisor.

“We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with Hamburg's data protection officer regarding the concerns over the Friend Finder, and we are looking forward to continuing these constructive discussions and dialogue,” the company said in a statement.