Facebook may have violated Swedish law – what next?


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Sunday, 04 September 2011
Social network site, Facebook and Google preach openness. But to contact them have proved to be more or less impossible. Now, Swedish Television shows that the firms may have violated Swedish laws.

According to E-Commerce Law, Swedish companies with operations in Sweden must provide an address where they can be contacted in various ways. Even an email address should also be provided.

“There will be a clear Contact Preference,” says lawyer Magnus Karpe of the Swedish Consumer Agency to Swedish television news Rapport program. The address shall relate to the place where the business is conducted.

Facebook rather has top-secret operations. The management and the Board  are made up mostly of persons residing outside Sweden, but for one, a lawyer Mats Helge Hellstrom, who operates in 20 different companies.

They have indicated nothing on their address at all that the activities of of facebook  wvia their website - nor to the U.S. organization's operations - and it is difficult for users of the service to actually make contact with the company after the accounts, pictures, conversations and other content are deleted without explanation .

When one goes through the paper that the company submitted to the Swedish company authorities as well as the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Companies Registration Office, there can one find among other things, an address in Strandv�gen 74, but the street address is not in Stockholm.

Another address that featured in the records is Sveav�gen 13.  It was at that address that Swedish television managed to find a completely anonymous office without any signs. Inside, there was a Securitas guarding Facebook Sweden AB.

Swedish television repeatedly sought the company's Swedish CEO, Martin Ingemansson to ask hi a few questions including why they do not provide an address and why they do not provide any user support.

In an e-mail reply, PR manager, Jan Fredriksson said that Martin Ingemansson will only want to"discuss how companies can increase brand awareness / increase sales through their Facebook initiative." Then he announced on that Martin is not available for an “interview with you this time," replying to Swedish television.

According to Swedish e-commerce law, which is part of the Marketing Act, an entity that works within the "information society service providers" has to give its name, its address and e-mail address. If such information is not provided, the company will likely be pursued in the court of law by the Marketing Act and the company may be required to release the information. The matter can also by refer to the court of First instance.

As for google, it reported an address to the Swedish yellow pages Eniro and Hitta, but no email address. On the website it nothing is indicated. Instead, those who want to get in contact with the company is called upon to fill in a form.
Now, after the Swedish television findings, the Swedish Consumer Agency will look into and to determine if it is working with the law.
By Team

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