The Federal Data Protection Commissioner Ulrich Kelber wanted to prohibit the Federal Government from operating a Facebook fan page because Facebook does not comply with the data protection regulations and operators of such pages share responsibility. In the long process, Facebook had temporarily promised improvements, but from the point of view of the BfDI, the problems had not been completely eliminated.
The Federal Office for Press and Information of the Federal Government therefore filed a complaint with the Cologne Administrative Court yesterday. “The judicial review makes it possible to create legal clarity for the operation of Facebook pages in a kind of test case. These proceedings are about clarifying fundamental, complex factual and legal issues relating to European data protection law,” said a spokeswoman for the federal government when asked by heise online . “As a result, these can affect every operator of a Facebook page in the EU: not just government agencies at all levels, but also private companies.”
When presenting his annual report on Wednesday, Kelber was still curious about how the federal government would behave. If the problem were resolved by Facebook, continued operation would also be possible.
Is Facebook responsible for data protection?
For the federal government, however, this is not important: “The core issue is whether the operator of a Facebook page can be held responsible under data protection law for the data processing carried out by Facebook. We are of the opinion that Facebook alone is responsible for its data processing under data protection law and insofar as data protection issues are to be clarified solely in relation to Facebook.”
From the point of view of the BPA, which has commissioned an external law firm with the legal clarification, the interest in informing the public outweighs data protection concerns: “Until a final judicial clarification, our Facebook presence will remain an important part of our public relations work. The federal government has a constitutional order to inform the citizens about the activities, projects and goals of the federal government. In order to reach the citizens, we have to orientate ourselves on their actual media use.”
It is unclear how long the court proceedings will last, and questions to the European Court of Justice would also be conceivable. However, the procedure could also be eliminated in another way: If Facebook were able to slip under the planned EU-US data privacy framework, the illegality would possibly cease to exist.
To home page
Leave a Reply