Germany’s Top Court has ruled that Facebook’s Friend Finder feature is illegal. According to the Press release, The Federal Court of Justice upheld the concurrent findings of the courts below which had held that this feature constitutes advertising harassment.
In 2010, Federation of German Consumer Organizations had complained that Facebook breached German consumer protection law by sending e-mails to consumers without their consent. The court allowed their complain which was also upheld in appeal.
On Appeal to Top Court, it held that Facebook is obliged to disable the function in Germany. The function is an intrusive form of marketing on behalf of Facebook using data imported by the user, rather than a private message from the user to one of his email contacts, the court said.
Facebook’s Friend finder feature allows Facebook users to give permission to search their contact in their mailbox and allows it to send invites to join Facebook, to their friends who are not in Facebook.
Klaus Müller, Chairman of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, in a press release said "Our perseverance pays off. After six years of proceedings on all instances confirmed by the German Supreme Court ruled that Facebook may not use personal information without consent for promotional purposes. The disclosure of personal data of friends, colleagues or business partners on the Facebook Friend Finder is tricky”