Facebook Is Sued in Belgium over Privacy Added: Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
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The Belgian privacy commission decided to sue Facebook over its alleged breach of Belgian and European privacy law and launched the case in a Brussels court. This move followed a report and an opinion from the local privacy watchdog. The latter detailed the alleged breaches by the social network of European privacy law, pointing out that Facebook tracked non-users and logged-out users in order to serve them ads.
The Belgian privacy commission claimed that Facebook didn’t respect its users’ private lives. Although the authority has no power to fine the company, it still threatened legal action if Facebook fails to address the concerns, and now this threat is being carried out. The privacy commission asked a judge to impose its recommendations, mainly aimed at protecting Internet users who are not registered with Facebook.
In response, Facebook claimed it was surprised and disappointed that the commission went to court a day before the meeting they appointed with the company to discuss the problem.
In the meantime, the industry observers point out that the outcome of this case may result in similar lawsuits throughout Europe, if Facebook is found guilty. For instance, a Dutch court recently decided that the operations of the social network in the Netherlands were not responsible for data protection issues, with the responsibility lying with the parent company in Ireland.
The report of the Belgium privacy watchdog revealed that Facebook has been tracking users who visit any page on its domain even if no Facebook account is needed to visit them. As a result, the privacy commission published its opinion saying that Facebook should discontinue such tracking. However, the current measures of the company to seek consent for tracking were deemed insufficient, and Facebook is therefore accused of breaching the EU data protection laws. Facebook argued that it was regulated by the Irish data protection commissioner, because the company operates within Europe from Ireland.
Recently, the European commission warned that citizens of the EU are better to close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep their data private from US. Besides, a Vienna court also ordered Facebook to respond to a class action data privacy lawsuit filed against the company in Austria by privacy activist Max Schrems, who is seeking damages of €500 per plaintiff for alleged data protection breaches.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015No comments
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