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Unacceptable nuisance German court rules Facebook 'friend finder' illegal

The German High Court's ruling confirms the rulings of two lower courts, according to Reuters.

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A German high court has ruled Facebook’s ‘friend finder’ feature, which allows the social network to market services to non-users, illegal.

The Court's ruling confirms the rulings of two lower courts, according to Reuters.

"Invitation emails from Facebook to people who have not clearly consented to receiving them are an unacceptable nuisance," the court ruling said.

Friend Finder encourages Facebook users to import their email and phone contacts so they can easily send promotional invitations for the service to their friends.

According to Klaus Mueller, the head of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations whose organization filed the case back in 2010, “What the judgment means exactly for the current Friends Finder, we now have to find out.

"In addition to Facebook, other services use this form of advertising to attract new users. They must now probably rethink,” Mueller added.

A spokeswoman for Facebook in Germany released an official statement saying the company was waiting to receive a formal decision and would study the findings “to assess any impact on our services.”

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