Facebook Users Must Be Allowed To Use Pseudonyms, Says German Privacy Regulator; Real-Name Policy ‘Erodes Online Freedoms’

#Facebook #instagram #deleteinstagram

TechCrunch

Facebook’s thorny relationship with Europe and European lawmakers took another barb in the side yesterday as a German Data Protection Commissioner issued a ruling that Facebook’s real-name policy violates German Law.

The data protection body, called Unabhaengiges Landeszentrum fuer Datenschutz (ULD, aka the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner) which operates in the Northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, said Facebook’s policy of mandating users of its social network use their real names, with no provision permitting “pseudonymous accounts”, violates the German Telemedia Act (TMG) — section 13, part 6 of which states

The service provider must enable the use of telemedia and payment for them to occur anonymously or via a pseudonym where this is technically possible and reasonable. The recipient of the service is to be informed about this possibility

The clause exists to protect Europeans’ “fundamental rights and in particular the fundamental right to freedom of expression on…

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