Facebook could be hit with tens of thousands of euros in fines for storing personal data of people who are not Facebook members.
German officials have initiated legal proceedings against the social networking site for violating the country's data privacy laws. Facebook routinely asks people who are already members to upload contact lists from their mobile phones and email accounts so Facebook can invite those people to join. Facebook retains the contact information, whether or not the people choose to join, even though the people have not given Facebook permission to store that information. Hamburg Data Protection Authority head Johannes Caspar has received several complaints from individuals whose information has been shared with third parties.