Facebook Loses ‘Friend Finder’ Privacy Case in German Court

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

The German consumer protection organization Verbraucherzentrale Bundesver (VZBV) won a major court ruling against Facebook’s popular ‘Friend Finder’ feature that encourages users to import the names and emails of their friends to see if they are part of the social network.  If an uploaded email doesn’t match up with an existing member of Facebook, users can choose to have Facebook send an email invitation out to try to sign them up.

VZBV believed that this process violates European privacy laws and told the court that the current terms and conditions published on Facebook’s website does not make it clear to the user that email addresses imported into Facebook through the ‘Friend Finder’ feature would be used to contact others.  As a result of the court ruling, Facebook will be required to clearly inform users that if they choose to use the ‘Friend Finder’ feature, their entire email address book will be uploaded to Facebook.

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
Stephen Fuchs on EmailStephen Fuchs on LinkedinStephen Fuchs on Twitter