Belgium ordered Facebook to stop tracking people who are not members of its social net work, or face a 250,000 euro (approximately $269,000) fine per day.
Facebook says they will appeal against the order, which followed a case lodged by Belgium’s privacy watchdog in June, accusing this US tech giant of breaking EU privacy law by tracking people without a Facebook account without their consent. This company think that its tracking is not anything new.
Facebook use a “datr cookie” to track the online activities of anyone visiting its site or clicking a Facebook ‘Like’ button on other websites, even when they are not Facebook’s members. This cookie has stayed for nearly 2 years. Belgium court insists that these are personal data and Facebook is only allowed to use them when they are given permission to do so.
However, Facebook did not think so. Its spokeman said: “We’ve used the ‘datr’ cookie for more than five years to keep Facebook secure for 1.5 billion people around the world”. They says this type of cookie is safe.
“We will appeal this decision and are working to minimize any disruption to people’s access to Facebook in Belgium.” Facebook says the datr cookie only identifies browsers, not people in order to help it to distinguish legitimate visits from hackers and attackers. Also, for Facebook has its European Headquater in Ireland, this company says it should be solely regulated by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. However, that spurious argument was rejected by the Belgian Privacy regulator.
Early this year, Facebook run into legal issues with Austria about privacy problems. Though Facebook did not be fined in that case, the 25,000 claimants, who said that Facebook illegally collected users’ data, implied that they would continue to take that tech giant to court, the higher one. If they are successful, facebook will have to be saddled with a 12, 5 million euro and also a reputational blow.
“We will appeal this decision and are working to minimise any disruption to people’s access to Facebook in Belgium”, Facebook spokeperson said.