On March 11, 2009, the operators of Germany’s leading social networks, which include “schuelerVZ,” “studiVZ,”  “lokalisten” and “wer-kennt-wen,” signed a 17-page Code of Conduct by the Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Multimedia Service Providers (the “Code”) in order to protect children and young people. The Code of Conduct aims to improve data protection and consumer protection in social networks and, in particular, to protect young people against harassment. The Code requires that a privacy notice be displayed directly after the registration process and that restrictive default settings be enabled for users under the age of 14. In addition, it must be possible to lock user profiles from search engines, and to block communication with other users. At prominent locations of the sites, features should be implemented to allow users to report irregular behavior and illegal content. The Code also states that sites may only use personal data for marketing and behavioral advertising if the user has been informed of this use of their data and has consented. Furthermore, any advertising material has to be clearly marked as such in accordance with the principle of separation of advertisement and content. The Code also contains a rule on blacklists and provisions regarding disclosure of data in response to law enforcement requests. The companies operating the aforementioned sites, studiVZ Ltd., Lokalisten Media GmbH and lemon line media Ltd. (wer-kennt-wen.de), have agreed to comply with the Code by the end of July 2009. The Code calls upon other social networks to sign it as well.