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November 10, 2015

Belgium Court Gives Facebook 48 Hours to Halt Tracking

Facebook Vows to Appeal Decision, Despite Facing Non-Compliance Fines

Flickr photo by Maria Elena

Facebook will appeal the decision of a Belgium court after it was banned from tracking Belgians who are not members of its social media site.

The court has given Facebook 48 hours to halt the practice.

The issues stems from a cookie Facebook has used for the past five years. It is installed when a person, member or not, visit’s Facbook’s website.

“We’ve used the Datr cookie for more than five years to keep Facebook secure for 1.5 billion people around the world,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to the media.

“We will appeal this decision and are working to minimize any disruption to people’s access to Facebook in Belgium.”

The Belgian court found fault with this practice, however, saying Facebook first must obtain consent from Internet users before collecting data.

If the social network does not comply with the court’s ruling, it could be slapped with a fine of up to 250,000 euros per day. Any monies collected would go to the Belgian Privacy Commission, which initiated the case against Facebook.

The Belgian Privacy Commission launched a lawsuit against the social network in June, accusing the firm of refusing to recognize Belgian and EU privacy laws.

The lawsuit was 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.”

Facebook is also in the crosshairs of other country’s privacy regulators, including those in France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority, which oversees online privacy for the Netherlands, has taken issue with the social network’s policy for handling users’ photos and data. The policy changes in question hand Facebook the right to use its members’ information and images for commercial purposes.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

2 Responses to “Belgium Court Gives Facebook 48 Hours to Halt Tracking

    avatar The Scriptor says:

    What is it about sites that feel they can just invade the privacy of others as if they have a right to do that?

    I never joined FB because of the personal questions to join that I felt were none if their business. This is the internet. It is not wise to post your pic, real name and birth date on anything on here. That’s just not smart unless you like strange folks finding out where you live or having your identity stolen. Not fun to see a boat purchase on your credit that you knew nothing about.

    avatar Francis Beardsell says:

    The Scriptor, I agree entirely with you.

    People sre just far too free with their personal information – many of which (date of birth, mothers maiden name etc.), are used as standard security questions for numerous websites – many of which, hold even more personal information (such as financial/medical information).

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