Site   Web

September 21, 2015

Belgian Privacy Commission Accuses Facebook of Being No Better Than NSA

Flickr photo by Maria Elena

Belgium’s privacy regulator is accusing Facebook of being as invasive as the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

The social network spied, without authority, on European users, attornies for the Belgian Privacy Commission said during opening arguments in court today.

Lawyer Frederic Debussere compared Facebook to the NSA, saying Facebook is no better than the government agency.

“When it became known that the NSA was spying on people all around the world, everybody was upset,” he was quoted by The Guardian. “This actor [Facebook] is doing the very same thing, albeit in a different way.”

The Belgian Privacy Commission (BPC) launched a lawsuit against the social network, accusing it of refusing to recognize Belgian and EU privacy laws.

The lawsuit is an escalation of the recommendation issued by the Commission in May in which it berated the social media giant, saying the company treats users’ personal data “with contempt.”

The BPC has threatened Facebook with a $280,213 fine per day that the social network fails to meet its demands.

Facebook has repeatedly refuted the BPC’s accusations, saying its update privacy policy complies with all relevant laws. The company has also said its “technology protects people from spam, malware, and other attacks, that our practices are consistent with EU law and with those of the most popular Belgian websites.”

Facebook also said, because its European headquarters are located in Dublin, its practices are subject only to Irish laws.

“How could Facebook be subject to Belgian law if the management of data gathering is being done by Facebook Ireland and its 900 employees in that country?” Facebook’s lawyer Paul Lefebvre argued in court.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.