Germany – The Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) users in Germany have a good news regarding using their real name usage on Facebook. The German users can now use any pseudonyms on their Facebook accounts. And also there is no need to enter the details of their official Government issued ID. This announcement was made by Hamburg Data Protection Authority, which authorizes and controls Facebook in Germany. According to the announcement, Germans using this social media cannot be forced to use their real names as an identity; they can use any name they wish. All the authorities from Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Netherlands are working together to learn more about teh company’s privacy policies.
Why Germans can use a pseudonyms for their Facebook Accounts
All this started when a German woman complained to Hamdata that she had a Facebook account which was blocked by Facebook; because she was using a fake name. Now to unlock her account, she was asked to show her government issued ID. After that, her fake name was changed to her original identity. However, the lady doesn’t want to use her real name as she wanted to avoid any questions related to her business coming to her through Facebook.
Hamdata watchdog said “Forcing users to stick to their real names violated their privacy rights.”
Facebook is the world’s largest social network. It has around 1.39 billion monthly users. Its European headquarters is in Ireland; and hence, Facebook has to strictly follow their rules and regulations. As per the Irish protection laws, Facebook users are not allowed to use pseudo-names for their Facebook accounts due to security reasons. Obviously, Hamburg Data Protection Authority has rejected these laws and hence, Facebook had to alter its policy of real names; at least for the Germans. Facebook is apparently disappointed due to this issue, as the company had already won the dispute over the real and pseudo identity of the users in the past.
“The use of authentic names on Facebook protects people’s privacy and safety by ensuring people know who they’re sharing and connecting with,” said a spokesperson for the company.
Based on this reaction, it is quite possible that Facebook may challenge this ‘change in law’ in the future. Till then, Germans can enjoy their pseudo identities.