German High Court Strikes Down Facebook's Friend Finder

Law360, New York (January 14, 2016, 4:36 PM EST) -- Germany's high court on Thursday declared the Friend Finder feature on Facebook to be unlawful, ruling the service that allows the social networking giant to access users' contacts and send emails to non-users was not adequately explained to consumers and amounted to harassing advertising.

Finding in favor of the consumer group Federation of German Consumer Organizations, known by its German acronym VZBV, the German Supreme Court concluded that Facebook's Friend Finder feature violated the country's laws prohibiting harassing advertising and misleading business practices because it allowed Facebook to send promotional emails to non-users encouraging them to join the site.

The decision,...

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