German Bodies are asked to close down their Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) Pages. In May, Ulrich Kelber urged government agencies to close down their Pages on Facebook. The reason for asking them to close their Facebook pages is that Facebook fails to resolve their issues. The ongoing data protection compliance problems related to Facebook are also the reason. In a letter to the government, Kelber warned the government bodies of enforcement action if they fail to close their Facebook pages by January 2022.

Although the BfDi, Kelber’s agency, does not have a Page on Facebook, its name does appear when someone tries to search it on Facebook. Many agencies operate Facebook pages that include the Ministry of Health page with over 760,000 followers. Ignoring data protection laws & privacy expectations is not new for Facebook. 

The Matter

Kelber stated that he avoided taking action over various ministries’ Pages on Facebook; however, the pages belonging to the public bodies worry them as they affect citizens. In his letter, he stated that government bodies need to comply with laws of data protection. He said that Facebook made no changes in its policies. He argued that Facebook failed to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU. 

The History

In June 2018, the top court of Europe held that the fan page’s administrator on Facebook is also responsible for data posted on the page. The problem is that Facebook does not empower operators of page operates with sufficient information about how the company processes data of users. As a result, page operators on Facebook fail to comply with the rules & regulations of GDPR. For instance, page operators are not able to inform their Facebook Page’s followers about data processing.

Moreover, operators of Facebook Pages are not also able to switch off more comprehensive processing of followers of their Pages by Facebook. In 2019, the BfDi favored Twitter as the platform offers more security features than Facebook.