Social networking websites provide a platform for people to know each other and communicate with friends and family. Facebook has become a very popular social networking website with approximately 500 million users around the world. Of late, Facebook has been accused by a number of countries for violating privacy standards. In the beginning of this year, Canadian Officials raised a finger on Facebook following a complaint about privacy policies. Germany has now begun legal proceedings against this social networking site for wrongly accessing and saving private information of non- users of the site.Switzerland is believed to follow this league in near future and launch complaints against the website. Some time back United States of America senators made public calls against the company showing concerns about the privacy standards adopted by the company.

Brief on German legal action

Germany has many social networking sites of which Facebook stands fourth in terms of users. The German authorities have slashed a complaint on the social networking giant-Facebook accusing it of accessing and storing personal information of non-users of the site. If complain goes in the favor of Germany then Facebook will have to pay tens of thousands of euros under the German privacy laws.

German officials claim to have received many complaints from people who are non users of Facebook but have there information publicized on the website. The website did not even bother to seek confirmation from these people before publishing their personal information. The complaint also states that this information was used by the website for marketing purposes.

Facebook has been given time till 11 August 2010 to revert to this legal complaint against it.

Facebook has invited big trouble

Sometime back the social networking site changed its privacy settings and made the website quite insecure for the users. Many users were ruffled by the laxity of the website officials concerning their personal information. Because of this Facebook has invited trouble for itself.

Europe is known for its strict privacy standards; personal information is not only considered a Human Right in the continent but a consumer protection issue.

Facebook is not the only one

It has been seen recently, that many Silicon Valley companies do not understand and provide due diligence to data protection laws.

Not long ago another Silicon Valley giant Google was also accused by the German authorities for seizing private data from non-secured wireless associations. It was claimed that this data was used for Google’s famous Street View project. Though the investigation in this matter is still on, but Google has released comments that it will handle back all the collected data to German officials in near future.

Prevention is better than cure

These series of complaints have acted as an eye opener for the users of these websites. Now we know that our personal information can be easily leaked in return of a few dollars. Through this article we will like to request our readers to act vigilantly and not to disclose any private information to websites, unless it is unavoidable. In case you see your private information being used wrongly then immediately report it to the concerned officials in your country.