Facebook’s ubiquitous ‘like’ button found on countless websites accessible in Germany was declared in violation of the country’s strict privacy laws by a state data protection official on Friday. Thilo Weichert, who works for the data protection centre of the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, said the social network’s application allowing internet users to express their appreciation of something online, illegally cobbled together a profile of their web habits. “Facebook can trace every click on a website, how long I’m on it, what I’m interested in,” he said. According to Weichert, all the information was sent to the US company even if someone was not a Facebook member. Saying this contravened both German and EU privacy laws, Weichert demanded websites in Schleswig-Holstein remove the ‘like’ button from their offerings by the end of September or face a fine of up to €50,000. He said Facebook probably used the data for advertising purposes and provided website operators an analysis of user traffic.