Facebook Appealed Belgian Court Order over Use of English TermsAdded: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
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The social network objected to the use of such English terms such as “cookie” and “browser” in a Belgian court order that had demanded Facebook to stop tracking users without their consent, claiming that Belgians may not understand them. This objection became a small part of the company’s appeal in its long-running battle over tracking of non-users.
The Belgian court recently ordered Facebook to stop tracking users who do not have accounts with it or face fines of up to €250,000 per day. The wording of the court order used the English words “browser” and “cookie” when describing parts of Facebook’s tracking technology.
Facebook is appealing the use of English terms under Belgian law that demands rulings to be delivered in Dutch, French or German. This is one of the points why the company believes that the Belgian court ruling is invalid and should be annulled. Facebook also submitted many other arguments with the appeal documents in January. However, the strength of its argument on this point is questionable, because the terms in other languages are spelled almost the same: for example, “web browser” is “webbrowser” in Dutch and “browser” or “navigateur” in French. “Cookie” is “cookie” in all three languages.
The court ruling was handed down in the case filed by the Belgian Privacy watchdog a few months ago, when Facebook was accused of indiscriminately tracking its visitors even if they had no accounts with Facebook. As you may know, tracking users without their permission is against the European privacy law, so the Belgian court sided with the privacy group and agreed that Facebook used a special “cookie” that lodged on an Internet user’s device if they visited a Facebook page even if they were not signed up to the social network.
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
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