European courts are keeping Facebook’s lawyers busy. Last week a Belgium court ruled the social media giant must stop illegally collecting user data and destroy any data which it had gathered on people who do not use Facebook.
The court threatened Facebook with fines of 250,00 euros a day, up to 100 million euros, if it does not cease tracking people on third party websites – a violation of Belgian privacy laws.
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“Facebook informs us insufficiently about gathering information about us, the kind of data it collects, what it does with that data and how long it stores it,” the court said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“It also does not gain our consent to collect and store all this information.”
Facebook said it was “disappointed” in the verdict and would be appealing.
Richard Allen, Facebook vice president of public policy in Europe said, “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.”
Belgium’s privacy watchdog initiated the case saying Facebook has broken privacy laws through the practice of placing cookies on third party websites to track the people’s online habits.
“Facebook has just launched a large campaign where they stress the importance of privacy,” the group said. “We hope they will now make this a reality.”
Last week a German court found Facebook’s use of personal data to be illegal and the company had failed to obtain user permission to access their data.
According to the German consumer group which brought the case, Facebook hid default settings that “are not privacy-friendly” and failed to meet requirements of informed consent. Facebook’s lawyers also plan to appeal the case.