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The European Court of Justice considers Facebook-fan pages to be jointly responsible for the privacy of its users. Lawyers see a risk for site operators.

Facebook: ECJ ruling poses risk to fan pages

The European Court of Justice considers Facebook-fan pages to be jointly responsible for the privacy of its users. Lawyers see a risk for site operators.

Facebook: ECJ ruling poses risk to fan pages
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  • Page 1 — ECJ ruling poses risk to fan pages
  • Page 2 — lawyers warn of new risks for site operators
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    Owners of a fan page on Facebook are responsible for protection of user data toger with social network. This was decided by European Court of Justice on Tuesday in Luxembourg (AZ. C-210/16). The judges thus gave law to Schleswig-Holstein State Centre for Data Protection, which Economic Academy of Schleswig-Holstein had requested to close its fan page on Facebook. In February 2016 federal Administrative Court had submitted case to ECJ in a so-called preliminary ruling request.

    Fan pages are usually operated by companies or prominent personalities. Facebook users who like page, see ir posts in ir own newsfeed and often can also interact with operators. The social network can, in turn, make anonymous statistics available to operators who like site. The users will not be informed. It was precisely this lack of evidence that led to lawsuit between latter and Economic academy.

    In November 2011 educational institution demanded deactivation of fan page and threatened to 5,000 euros in fines. According to data protector, EineFanpage operator is jointly responsible for processing of personal data by Facebook – and thus also for possible violations of data protection law. In first two instances, however, latter had not been able to prevail with this view. Thus, Supreme Administrative Court of Schleswig held view that "a fan page operator is not responsible for what Facebook does with personal data of users."

    Fansite operators decide on usage

    The ECJ sees this differently. "Such an operator is, in fact, through parameterization (...) Participated in decision on purposes and means of processing personal data of visitors of his fanpage, "it is stated in press release (PDF). For he receives from Facebook through his users certain personal data on lifestyle and interests, "which inform him about where special promotions are to be carried out or events to organize and to enable him in general To make information available as purposefully as possible. " Therefore, " fact that an operator of a fanpage uses platform set up by Facebook in order to use its services does not allow it to comply with its obligations in field of personal data protection Free ".

    The National Commissioner for data Protection Schleswig-Holstein, Marit Hansen, welcomed ECJ's ruling. "The decision has confirmed my assessment that re can be no breach of responsibility in data protection. In concrete terms, this now means for all fan page operators that between you and Facebook must be clarified, which data protection obligations you have to fulfill yourself and for which Facebook is responsible, "she said in a press release. Everyone can directly assert his rights to information and rectification both to fan page operator and to Facebook.

    BvD expects fan-page closures

    The Bavarian National Commissioner for Data Protection, Thomas Petri, recommends public authorities in Bavaria to "critically review" ir presence on Facebook or or social media. "In view of previous experiences, it would not be surprising in result if Facebook also processed illegal data on scale of basic data protection regulation," said Petri. "Eir social media must adhere to data protection regulations in force in Europe or y cannot be used responsibly. Possible advantages in public relations do not justify any breach of data protection. "

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