Belgium sues Facebook

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The Belgian Privacy Commission (CBPL) has initiated a legal case against Facebook’s local subsidiary because of the latter’s alleged illegal tracking of users, according to a report from The Independent.

Commission Chairman Willem Debeuckelaere said that “the way the social network secretly tracks members but also non-members and processes data is flagrant. Even people who specifically indicate that they don’t want to be followed are still followed.”

Previously, the Privacy Commission had published a report claiming that Facebook was violating the country’s privacy laws. The commission couldn’t impose a fine on the social media giant, so it threated to file a lawsuit if the company failed to respond adequately to its report. Now it has made good on that promise.

Meanwhile, Facebook said the action of the Belgian watchdog was unexpected.

“We were surprised and disappointed that after the CBPL had already agreed to meet with us on the 19th June to discuss their recommendations, they took the theatrical action of bringing Facebook Belgium to court on the day beforehand,” said a representative from the company.

Facebook believes that the case has no merit. Nevertheless, it is willing to work with the Belgian authorities to address their concerns through a dialogue with its Irish unit and Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner.

The company believes that it shouldn’t come under the purview of individual European countries. Facebook argued that being regulated by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner and complying with European data protection law should be enough.

In spite of that assertion, Facebook plans to review the CBPL’s recommendations.


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