Facebook Following NSA Footsteps to Spy on Users: Belgium’s Privacy Advocate

In June this year, we reported how Facebook was sued by Belgium’s Privacy Commission (BPC) for tracking users even those who never made a profile on the social media site.

Now, Frederic Debussere (representative of the Belgian Privacy Commission/BPC) in his opening arguments on Monday, referred to Edward Snowden, the famous NSA whistleblower, while revealing the mass surveillance program of the NSA.

He said:

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

Detailed Analysis:

The BPC accused Facebook of “trampling” over European and Belgian privacy law and brought a lawsuit against the social network.

The details of the alleged breaches from Facebook can be found in a report from the BPC, in which the commission mentioned that Facebook tracked non-users and those who already had logged out from the site for advertising purposes.

Reportedly, Facebook is being threatened by the BPC for a fine of $250,000 per day for not responding to its demands.

The Cookie Aspect:

Facebook has categorically denied the claims and states that the data and information presented by the BPC in its privacy report are false.

According to an official Facebook spokesperson the social network is adamant to “show the court how this 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,” according to the Guardian.

Moreover, Facebook repeatedly has mentioned that all of its operations and practices in European regions are audited and controlled under the Irish data protection agency. The headquarters of Facebook’s European branch is also situated in Dublin, Ireland.

A representative of Facebook, Paul Lefebvre said:

“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?”

Belgians need not to ‘be intimidated’ by Facebook:

The whole of Europe is watching the case intently since data privacy regulators throughout the region, even in the Netherlands, have started to point fingers at the privacy practices of Facebook.

What’s the solution:

In March 2015, Europen Union commission came up with a solution asking users to leave Facebook if they don’t want to be spied on.

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