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Refusal to verify identity justifies termination of Facebook account

The Frankfurt am Main Regional Court has ruled that Facebook can terminate an account with a user if the user refuses to undergo the identity verification required by the terms of use.

The account in question here was created in early 2019 and Facebook put it into “fake account checkpoint” mode. He did not comply with Facebook’s request to prove his identity and, for example, to send in a copy of his ID or to confirm the account by entering a confirmation code from one of its devices. The account was then blocked.

The lawsuit directed at this block has now been unsuccessful. The Regional Court of Frankfurt a.M. dismissed the action on the grounds that there was a claim for restoration of the account. Facebook was entitled to terminate the user contract because the plaintiff had breached its obligations under the contract. According to the terms of use, a user is obliged to provide information about himself. Accordingly, it must also be possible for the defendant to verify such information. Insofar as the plaintiff referred to the interest in preserving his anonymity, the court considered this to be irrelevant, as the plaintiff had not been obliged to disclose his name. In addition, the plaintiff was free to use other social networks that waive the disclosure of identity.

Consequently, the Regional Court also rejected the claim for damages in the amount of 50.00 euros per day.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.

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