Belgian privacy watchdog takes Facebook to court

Belgium’s privacy watchdog has begun legal action against Facebook, accusing the social network site of tracking its users across the web and even monitoring the activities of those without an account.The independent Privacy Commission, which is working with German, Dutch, French and Spanish counterparts, accused Facebook last month of trampling on European privacy laws after trying to find out more about the U.S. social media giant’s practices. see:Hooray for Belgium, fronting up to Facebook
Unroll your lists of 10 famous Belgians (mine is mostly tennis players, fashion designers and Audrey Hepburn), because there is a new name to add: Willem Debeuckelaere, president of the Belgian privacy commission. Even the name of this organisation delights me, with its faint suggestion that Belgian privacy may not be like other kinds. And as a partially Flemish person myself, I can only be proud that it is Belgium that has lost patience with Facebook and its somewhat jaunty attitude to privacy issues.So much so that it is taking the company to court over its alleged breaches of Belgian and European privacy laws. It threatened legal action if Facebook didn’t respond to its concerns, and has followed through on the threat. Gratifyingly, Facebook’s spokesperson has described this as “theatrical”, an adjective that is virtually never used to describe anyone Belgian, except for Hercule Poirot.

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