Data protectors may prohibit operation of Facebook fanpages

The operators of commercial Fanpages on Facebook are jointly responsible for the data processing, which runs in the background. In the event of serious deficiencies, data protection officers may therefore oblige the operators to switch off the company side. This was decided by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig on Wednesday. (Az .: BVerwG 6 C 15.18) Although Facebook itself could be an addressee for the complaints, the privacy advocates should also take the side operators into account for reasons of effectiveness.

The decision is based on a case from Schleswig-Holstein. The National Center for Data Protection demanded in 2011 from the Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein the deactivation of the fan page. When the page was accessed, users' data would be collected without being informed.

To what extent this data processing was actually unlawful, but still needs to be clarified, judged the Leipzig judges, They therefore referred the case back to the Higher Administrative Court in Schleswig-Holstein for a new trial and decision.

The appeal proceedings concerned an order issued by the Schleswig-Holstein Data Protection Supervisor (ULD) according to which the Business Academy had been obliged to deactivate the fan page it operated on Facebook. The ULD complained that Facebook access to the fan page on personal data of the Internet users, without these would be informed in accordance with the provisions of the Telemedia Act. A contradiction of the user remains for lack of appropriate technical impact possibilities without consequences.

The business academy was successful in the lower courts. The Higher Administrative Court said that they were not responsible for data protection law, because they have no access to the data collected. By contrast, the ULD turned to the revision process. On submission of the Federal Administrative Court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in June 2018 that the operator of a fan page is jointly responsible for the processing of data by Facebook; it enables the access to the data of the fan page visitors by the operation of the fan page Facebook.

The ULD did not have to act against one of the subdivisions or branches of Facebook, "because that would have been due to the lack of cooperation of Facebook with significant actual and legal uncertainties," writes the Federal Administrative Court. "If the data processing that takes place when the fanpage is called up is illegal, the deactivation arrangement represents a proportionate means" because the ULD has no other means of establishing conditions compliant with data protection. (with dpa material) /


. (TagsToTranslate) Federal Administrative Court (t) Privacy (t) Facebook (t) fan (t) Judgment