Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) won a court challenge against a German privacy watchdog on Friday, about its real name policy in Germany.
As a result of this court rule, German users will not be allowed to use pseudonyms and nicknames as their Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) identity.
Last year in December, the German data protection body in question, the ULD, issued a ruling against Facebook's real name policy in Germany. According to that ruling, 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).
The administrative court in the North of Germany ruled yesterday that German data protection laws aren't applicable because of the social media giant has its European headquarters in Ireland and only Irish data protection laws apply in cases like these.
The head of the ULD, Thilo Weichert, wasn't too pleased with the ruling. In a post he said, "The decisions are more than amazing.
"They are contradictory when they explain the lack of legal relevance of Facebook Germany so that there is no data would be processed at the same time but the company in Ireland to assume jurisdiction, although there is no data to be processed."
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), in its real name policy, explains that its real name policy protects users and makes the social site a much safer and reliable network.
"We are pleased with the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeals of Schleswig-Holstein. We believe this is a step into the right direction. We hope that our critics will understand that it is the role of individual services to determine their own policies about anonymity within the governing law – for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Ireland, European data protection and Irish law. We therefore feel affirmed that the orders are without merit," said a Facebook spokesperson.
The ULD is, however, still hopeful that its second appeal in the higher court will be a success. Luckily, the Data Protection Commissioner has two weeks to do so.