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Facebook tightens privacy after friendly warning from Germany

Unsolicited email gets a little tougher in Hamburg, if not world

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Facebook will tighten up privacy in its "Friend Finder" feature, following demands from German data protection watchdogs.

A deal was struck with German data protection officials in Hamburg yesterday, after Facebook was hit with a privacy storm over unsolicited emailed invites it sent to individuals who hadn't signed up to the dominant social network.

Germany's Data Protection Authority said it agreed with Facebook to divvy up more control over their users' email address books.

The company will encrypt email addresses of those people who opt out of appearing in Facebook's directory.

"We hope to carry out the deal fast and we will follow it closely," said a spokesman at the DPA.

The move is the latest in a series of online privacy gaps being filled by regulators in Germany, which has also clamped down on Google's lax methods of protecting some of its users' data. ®

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