Belgian privacy watchdog takes Facebook to court


Belgium’s privacy watchdog has started a legal action against US-based social media giant Facebook, saying that the company is guilty of tracking its users across the web and even monitoring people that don’t even have a Facebook account…

Facebook tracks users across the web without permission

The watchdog in question is the Independent Privacy Commission, which also works with other European counterparts in Germany, The Netherlands, France and Spain. They have collectively accused Facebook of fluting European privacy laws, after they investigated the US company’s social media practices.

“We did not get satisfactory answers so this was the next step”, said a spokeswoman for the Commission for the Protection of Privacy (CPP).

The commission apparently asked the court, which will meet on Thursday, for an order to ban Facebook from monitoring non-users in particular, which it allegedly does via plug-ins and cookies.

The legal action is just one of the latest challenges faced by US technology giants from the European Union, from the taxi service Uber to more well-established companies such as Amazon and Google.

Facebook says it’s surprised that the CPP agreed to meet on with them on Friday and then take the “theatrical” action of taking them to court the previous day.

The company says it’s confident the case has no merit, but is happy to resolve the concerns with dialogue with its regulator in Europe, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

Facebook also says that browser cookies are a standard technology used on the Internet and that users can opt out. Furthermore, it also says that it’s only subject to Irish law, the site of its European HQ, but some EU members have accused the country of being soft on multinational firms regarding data protection and corporate tax…



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