Belgium’s Court of First Instance on Monday ordered Facebook to cease all tracking of users within the country who have not signed up for the social networking platform. The court has given Facebook 48 hours [BBC report] to stop tracking unregistered users. The Belgian Privacy Commission [official website], which brought the case [JURIST report] in June, welcomed [press release, in Dutch] Monday’s ruling. Last May the commission released a report [text, PDF] illustrating the numerous ways the social networking giant has violated Belgium’s privacy act. If Facebook does not comply, the company faces fines of up to €250,000 each day, which will go to the Belgian Privacy Commission. Facebook has stated that it plans to appeal the decision and claims it has not illegally used a cookie to track user traffic on the website.
In October the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled [JURIST report] that EU user data transferred to the US by various technology companies, including Facebook, is not sufficiently protected. In March 92 non-governmental organizations from around the world issued a statement [JURIST report] calling on the UN Human Rights Council to institute a Special Rapporteur on Privacy. Also in June the District Court of The Hague struck down [JURIST report] a Dutch data retention law, holding that it violates privacy rights of EU citizens.