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Facebook must comply with German data protection law, court rules

Loek Essers | Feb. 19, 2014
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations said the verdict is a milestone for data protection in the Facebook era.

"The verdict is a milestone for data protection in the Facebook era," the VZBV said.

The ruling could mean that it might not be worthwhile for big tech companies to settle in countries where the least resistance from data protection authorities can be expected, Elbrecht said, adding that the Irish data protection authority is not very effective.

The VZBV also called on the German government to advocate for a speedy implementation of data protection regulation across the E.U. to guarantee an uniform level of data protection. A uniform regulation was described by German Chancellor Angela Merkel as difficult to achieve during the weekend because some countries have less stringent data protection than Germany.

As the Higher Court of Berlin and Administrative Court of Appeals of the State of Schleswig-Holstein are equals, it is difficult to say which decision will prevail, according to Elbrecht.

The Administrative Court of Appeals' decision is final and cannot be appealed. But Facebook can still formally object to the Higher Court of Berlin ruling within a month, Elbrecht said.

Such an objection could lead to a review of the case by Germany's highest court, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, she said, adding that the VZBV expected Facebook to file an objection.

Facebook is still reviewing the decision, a spokeswoman said in an


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