German state threatens Zuckerberg with $26K fine

Data protection authorities are brandishing the possible financial penalty over Facebook's ban on anonymous accounts.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is facing a 20,000 euro ($26,000) fine over the social-networking site's failure to offer German users anonymous accounts.

According to The Guardian, the data protection commissioner of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has written to Zuckerberg and to Facebook Ireland threatening the fine if Facebook continues to ban anonymous accounts. According to the data protection authority, forcing users to provide their real identities is a breach of German law, under which the country's citizens have the right to use online media services anonymously.

"It is unacceptable that a US portal like Facebook violates German data protection law, unopposed and with no prospect of an end," The Guardian quotes the state's data protection commissioner, Thilo Weichert, as saying.

Read more of "Zuckerberg faces 20,000 fine over Facebook's anonymous accounts ban" at ZDNet.

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