Operators of Facebook fan pages are not responsible for possible data privacy violations by Facebook, the Higher Administrative Court for the state of Schleswig Holstein has ruled. The court rejected an appeal by the Data Protection Agency in Schleswig Holstein against the ruling of the Administrative Court in Schleswig. The Data Protection Agency had previously held that certain Facebook practices, including the use of cookies and facial recognition, violated German  data privacy regulations and had ordered a Facebook user, an academic institution, to deactivate its Facebook fan pages.

The Higher Administrative Court found that fan page operators had no technical and legal influence on Facebook´s data collection practices and the fact that Facebook was receiving anonymous statistical data from its users was not sufficient for assuming a shared responsibility for data privacy violations. The ruling did not address the general question to what extent Facebook can be held responsible for its practices under German law. The matter has been appealed to the Federal Administrative Court.

Schleswig. Holstein.de