Online websites that embed a Facebook Like button are responsible for the data they send to Facebook and liable for the same penalties under EU data protection laws, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) said this week.
The ruling comes as a result of a lengthy lawsuit that began in Germany in 2015, when Verbraucherzentrale NRW, a German consumer group, sought an injunction against Fashion ID, a German fashion retail shop.
NRW claimed that by embedding the Facebook Like button on its website, Fashion ID was allowing Facebook to collect data on the site’s visitors without their direct approval.
The German consumer group sued Fashion ID in a German court in 2015, in an attempt to get the site to remove the button.
The ECI ruling means that any website using a Facebook Like button, or a similar social plugin, is responsible for the user data the button collects and sends to a third-party firm.