Belgian Watchdog Sues Facebook for Tracking Users

Facebook is in hot water. The social media giant is being taken to court by Belgium’s Privacy Commission (BPC), among accusations that it has violated privacy laws.

The BPC has slammed Mark Zuckerberg’s creation for spying on non-users and the tracking system that is being utilised by the company.

The main issues are not the tracking of users whilst using the main website, the point at which the BPC feel that they are surpassing their privileged position is by continuing to track browsers once the person has left their website, by collecting information from external sites that use the popular plugins with links to “like” or “share” on the participant’s Facebook profile.


Facebook’s spokesperson on the matter was quoted as saying “the company is confident, as the commission’s case has no merit.”

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In the report released by the Belgian Privacy Commission in May 2015, Facebook was accused of processing personal data of its members, along with other Internet users in secret.

This data was then allegedly being used without justification or user content. The commission continues to reveal that the processes and practices used by the social media leviathan contradict European Union data protection laws.

They have asked Facebook to cease doing said activity, or seek user consent prior to collecting the data which they have been allegedly hoarding, especially information regarding activity which can be then used to fuel advertising campaigns.

Facebook takes the standpoint which is common amongst multinational corporations, which is that they are only answerable to Irish regulators, as that is where the European headquarters are based. Furthermore, they agreed they would analyse the reports and recommendations given.

This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of abusing privacy legislation, with the Vienna court ordered Facebook to respond to a class action lawsuit regarding data privacy in Austria filed by Max Schrems, who claimed €500 per plaintiff for privacy breaches.

The commission seems to be acting with the same mantra as privacy regulators across Europe, as targeted advertising is now used on both Instagram and Whatsapp, subsidiaries of the parent company.

The European Commission has advised EU citizens to deactivate their Facebook accounts, in order to keep personal information safe from US security services.

In April 2015, Brazilian Ministry of Culture announced it will sue Facebook for blocking the picture of an Indian woman from 1909 just because her breasts were exposed.



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