Websites that install Facebook’s widely-used “Like” button on their pages will have to change how they use the software to comply with European privacy laws, the European Union’s top court ruled.
According to TechCrunch, the ruling means sites that use the Like button—which lets visitors signal their affirmation of everything from a photo to a comment in a discussion forum—will have to obtain permission from visitors to those sites before sharing any user data with Facebook. The ruling could force Facebook to change the way the software for the Like button is designed, TechCrunch said. That’s because the software automatically shares some data with Facebook when users visit sites that have put the button on their pages.
If those changes end up forcing users to click on windows to signal their permission, sites may begin to think much harder about whether the Like button is worth the additional hassles it introduces for users.