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German privacy official warns potential Facebook investors

May 18, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • The Nasdaq video board in Times Square advertises Facebook, which is set to debut on the Nasdaq stock market Friday.
The Nasdaq video board in Times Square advertises Facebook, which is set… (Spencer Platt / Getty Images )

A German government official warned his country's would-be Facebook investors that the social network's business is based on practices that are prohibited by European privacy laws.

Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner for the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, said "Facebook's business model will implode," according to the Associated Press.

The official said that if European privacy officials have their way Facebook will have to stop transferring user information back to the U.S. Weichert spoke with the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Friday.

PHOTOS: Facebook shares make their stock market debut

Facebook in its investors' prospectus acknowledges that it works in an industry with evolving and complex laws concerning Internet user privacy that could hurt its business.

Facebook stock begins trading Friday. It's price was set at $38 a share Thursday afternoon.

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