The German data protection commissioner has given German government organisations until the end of the year to shut down their Facebook pages.

The decision follows after the commissioner found that Facebook had failed to amend its practices to comply with German and European privacy laws. 

In a letter to governenment agencies and organisations, the commissioner Ulrich Kelber explained that the social network did not provide a way to run pages for such institutions in an EU-compliant way. 

Kelber added that TikTok and Instagram also appeared to have similar issues and recommended government organisations to stop using them until his inquiry was finished. 

“We updated our Page Insights supplement and clarified the responsibility of Facebook and website operators at the end of 2019,” a spokesman for Facebook wrote in an email to Reuters. “Questions related to the transparency of data processing were taken into consideration.”

Currently, the German government official Facfebook page has over a million followers and has been an important tool to reach out to citizens that do not follow the mass media. 

Kelber explained that it was impossible to run a page on the social network without its folliowers’ personal data being transmitted to the United States. 

“Given the continuing violation of personal data protection, there is no time to waste,” Kelber wrote to the government organisations. “If you have a fan page, I strongly recommend you switch it off by the end of the year.”

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