German Official Objects To Facebook Privacy Changes

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Germany's Federal Minister of Consumer Protection is not at all happy with Facebook.  Indeed, in a new open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Ilse Aigner condemned proposed changes to Facebook's privacy policy, and threatened to quit the social network if her concerns aren't addressed.

Specifically, Aigner is bothered by the idea of Facebook providing user data to pre-approved partners.  According to a translation of her letter provided by Spiegel Online, she stated, "Personal data is not allowed to be automatically passed on to third parties for commercial purposes without consent."

Aigner asked that changes to Facebook's privacy policy be communicated to users ahead of time, too, although Facebook already makes the information available to interested parties by posting it on its corporate blog and sending announcements to users' inboxes.

We should perhaps note here that this isn't the first time Aigner's complained about an American tech company's attitude towards privacy; she's in fact been one of Street View's most vocal opponents in Germany.  And Google's still moving ahead with its plans to introduce Street View in Germany, so Aigner's uneasiness may not have many significant implications.

Still, Aigner - who's used Facebook enough to accumulate around 1,900 friends - did tell Zuckerberg, "Should Facebook not be willing to alter its business policy and eliminate the glaring shortcomings, I will feel obliged to terminate my membership."

Hat tip goes to Robin Wauters.