CNET News reports that Germany's Hamburg Data Protection Officer has launched a formal investigation into Facebook's privacy practices.
Officials are concerned that Facebook is collecting data on nonmembers who aren't registered for the site and therefore haven't granted Facebook any kind of explicit permissions. The Associated Press quotes Johannes Caspar, head of the Hamburg office for data protection, as saying:
We consider the saving of data from third parties, in this context, to be against data privacy laws.
Facebook, which has until Aug. 11 to respond, could be facing tens of thousands of euros in fines.