Facebook – Obbligation to use clear names: Tribunal Decision
Facebook defeated in dispute over obligation to use clear names. Long-registered users may continue to use pseudonyms on the platform, the judges at the Federal Supreme Court have ruled. However, the ruling only applies to old cases.
Karlsruhe According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), Facebook must accept that users who have been registered for a long time use pseudonyms on the platform. An obligation to use the so-called plain name is invalid, the third civil senate ruled in Karlsruhe on Thursday. (Ref. III ZR 3/21 et al.) However, due to a change in the law, the ruling only applies to old cases.
The background is a new legal situation: The German Telemedia Act obliges providers to enable the use of their services „anonymously or under a pseudonym, as far as this is technically possible and reasonable“. The old EU law did not stand in the way of this. But since May 2018, a new data protection law has been in force in the European Union, which explicitly does not contain such a provision.
However, the BGH judges have now decided the cases under the old law. „Therefore, the immediate reach of our decision is limited to old cases,“ said presiding judge Ulrich Herrmann.