Belgium appeals court lifts restrictions on Facebook data collection News
Belgium appeals court lifts restrictions on Facebook data collection

The Brussels Court of Appeals [official website, in French] on Wednesday found that the Belgian courts do not have jurisdiction over Facebook’s collection and processing of data from users in Belgium. The court noted that Facebook [corporate website] is an American company that bases its European operations, including data processing for European and some North American customers, in Ireland. As such, the court found [L’Echo report] that it had no jurisdiction over the processing of data collected by a foreign company in a foreign country. The Commission for the Protection of Privacy (CPP) [official website] said Wednesday’s ruling vacating a lower court order [JURIST report] preventing Facebook from any tracking of users within the country who have not signed up for the social networking platform meant that Belgians were unable to protect their private lives [press release, in French] from foreign actors and would be exposed to massive violations of their privacy. The CPP also indicated that it is examining an appeal to Belgium’s Court of Cassation [official website, in French].

Facebook has faced numerous legal challenges across the globe. In January Germany’s Federal Court of Justice [official website, in German] ruled [press release, in German] that Facebook’s friend finder feature is unlawful [JURIST report]. In October the European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that EU user data transferred to the US by various technology companies, including Facebook, is not sufficiently protected. In December 2014 Facebook failed to dismiss a lawsuit [JURIST report] that claimed it scanned users’ private messages for the names of websites for targeted advertising purposes. In May 2014 an Iranian judge ordered [JURIST report] Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court regarding allegation that certain Facebook apps violated user privacy.