The following statement caused quite a stir: The operation of Facebook fan pages is contrary to the GDPR. However, the German government continues to have such a Facebook presence, which is operated by the Federal Press Office. The Federal Data Protection Commissioner is now investigating the Federal Press Office.

What makes Facebook fan pages privacy-intrusive?

For many companies and public agencies, their own Facebook page is a big part of their own public relations. Once set up, versatile information can be shared here with a broad community. For example, the German government, whose presence is managed by the Federal Press Office, regularly reaches almost a million people via the network.

The problem under data protection law is that when someone visits a website with a Facebook "Like" or "Share" button, Facebook places a cookie on their computer. This allows the American company to analyze the user's surfing behavior. The user does not even need to have his or her own user account.

The data collected can then be used to create profiles. These in turn are used by advertisers for more targeted advertising. The processing of data for this purpose takes place on servers in the USA.

Criticism by data protectionists

The Federal Data Protection Commissioner Ulrich Kelber sees these Facebook fan pages as processing personal data without the consent of the data subjects and without a legal basis.

Kelber has now initiated proceedings against the Federal Press Office, which operates the federal government's Facebook page. In the course of this, the office was asked to submit a statement by mid-August.

Other ministries and federal authorities nevertheless continue to operate their Facebook pages and thus violate Article 5 II of the GDPR. Individual data protection commissioners of the federal states have now also repeatedly demanded that the corresponding government pages be shut down. In order to still carry out public relations work, data protection officers suggest expanding one's own websites or presenting oneself in data protection-compliant networks.

Of course, all these data protection considerations apply not only to public bodies and governments, but also to online stores, agencies and companies.

Do you want to ensure data protection in your company? Our team of experts will be happy to help you!

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