Facebook faces massive fines for breaking privacy laws in Belgium

Belgian court orders Facebook to stop collecting data on citizens threatens fines of up to $125mn

A Belgian court on Friday ordered Facebook to stop tracking internet users in the country who do not have accounts with the U.S. social media giant, or face heavy fines.

Facebook seems to be in trouble again as its legal battle with the Belgian commission for the protection of privacy (CPP) continues.

Facebook must publish the 84-page ruling on its website and display extracts in Belgian newspapers within three months, a court spokesperson said.

"We'll consent to this new law, similarly as we've agreed to existing information security law in Europe", Facebook's VP of open approach for Europe Richard Allan said.

It said the court concluded that Facebook does not adequately inform users that it is collecting information, what kind of details it keeps and for how long, or what it does with the data.

The social media sites follows its users activities by means of so-called "social-plug ins", "cookies" and "pixels".

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"We are of course very stratified that the court accepted our argument in full". "Facebook has just launched a large campaign where they stress the importance of privacy".

Facebook said the technologies it uses were in line with industry standards and it gives users the right to opt out of data collection on websites and applications off its platform being used for advertisements.

"We are disappointed with today's verdict".

"This is a big win for internet users who don't want tech companies to monitor every step they make online", BEUC spokesman Johannes Kleis said in a statement. It also ruled that Facebook's "real names" policy is illegal and demanded changes in the way that German citizens' personal data is handled.

"What Facebook is doing is against Europe's data protection laws and should be stopped throughout the EU", Kleis added.

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