Facebook Wins Belgian Case for Data Tracking Issues

Facebook headquarters hq

Facebook has fought many court battles over the past few months and years. Fortunately for the company they have won one court fight in Belgium which pitted them against the Belgian data protection authority. The Belgian data protection authority aimed to stop the popular social media network from tracking the online activities of the non-Facebook users in Belgium who visit the social network’s pages.

The Belgian Privacy Commission announced that the Brussels Appeals Court had dismissed the case against Facebook because the regulator had no jurisdiction over Facebook Inc. The most used social media network has its European headquarters in Ireland.

The news came as a relief for the social media network giant because of the constant fights that it is heavily involved in. The company kept on maintaining that because its headquarters were located in Ireland, only the Irish Data Protection Commissioner could have jurisdiction over how the company uses its data in Europe. This court case is just one of a few that Facebook has had to fight over with European privacy watchdogs over the company’s use of private people’s data.

The data protection regulator in Belgium had taken social networking company to court for a year now. The regulator claimed that the company was simply trampling over the EU privacy laws that were put in place. The regulator said Facebook was doing this by tracking people, even those without accounts on the social media network, without their consent.

The court that the regulator filed the motion in ruled against Facebook and said that the company was going to pay a fine of €250,000, daily fine if the company continued tracking users without their consent.

Facebook then appealed the ruling, but they stopped using the so called ‘datr’ cookie. The cookie is the one they used to track people’s activity, and it comes into use when a user visits the Facebook.com website, or they click on the Facebook like button on other websites. The cookie is then put on the web browser which would make it easy to track the online activities of the browser.

A Facebook spokesperson said they were delighted with the news and looked forward to bringing all their services to the Belgian people.

In a statement, the regulator said the news from the court meant Belgians could not get the protection they need in their private lives through the courts if foreign companies were involved.

They were also planning on appealing to the Court of Cassation, which in some cases has overruled the Court of Appeal in matters involving foreign firms.