Social notworking site Facebook must be starting to think that Germany is more trouble than it is worth.
The outfit faces potential fines for violating privacy laws in Germany and has agreed to let users there better shield their email contacts from unwanted advertisements and solicitations. After six months of wrangling. Facebook, which has more than 10 million users in Germany, agreed to modify its 'friend finder' service. Users will be better able to block Facebook's ability to contact people, including non-Facebook users culled from a user's email address books.
Tina Kulow, a spokeswoman for Facebook in Hamburg, said users in Germany would be advised that the site could send solicitations to people on their mailing lists if they uploaded their address books to friend finder. Like Google, Facebook had to change the way it worked in Germany after Johannes Caspar, the data protection supervisor in Hamburg, began a review of the company's practices. Caspar said his office had received ''many, many complaints'' during the past six months from Germans who had never used Facebook but were receiving solicitations because their email addresses had been siphoned from friends.