Facebook’s tracking of non-users ruled illegal again

Another blow for Facebook in Europe: Judges in Belgium have once again ruled the company broke privacy laws by deploying technology such as cookies and social plug-ins to track internet users across the web.

Facebook uses data it collects in this way to sell targeted advertising.

The social media giant failed to make it sufficiently clear how people’s digital activity was being used, the court ruled.

Facebook faces fines of up to €100 million (~$124 million), at a rate of €250,000 per day, if it fails to comply with the court ruling to stop tracking Belgians’ web browsing habits. It must also destroy any illegally obtained data, the court said.

Facebook expressed disappointment at the judgement and said it will appeal.

“The cookies and pixels we use are industry standard technologies and enable hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow their businesses and reach customers across the EU,” said Facebook’s VP of public policy for EMEA, Richard Allan, in a statement. “We require any business that uses our technologies to provide clear notice to end-users, and we give people the right to opt-out of having data collected on sites and apps off Facebook being used for ads.”

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