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Facebook accused of ‘trampling’ EU privacy laws

Social media giant has denied claims.

By CBR Staff Writer

Belgium’s Privacy Protection Commission (CPVP/CBPL) has accused Facebook of trampling European privacy laws by tracking users’ data without their approval.

The watchdog said that the company had dodged questions from national regulators on how information was collected.

Internet users were urged to install privacy software in order to stop tracking, even if they do not have an account with Facebook.

The commission, which was working with watchdogs in Germany, Holland, France, and Spain, accused Facebook of recognising EU national jurisdictions, citing the company’s claim that it was only subject to law in Ireland, where it has its European headquarters.

The data protection authority said, "Facebook has shown itself particularly miserly in giving precise answers," adding that the results of its investigation were disconcerting.

The watchdog threatened to take legal action against Facebook if it did not follow its recommendations.

A Facebook spokeswoman questioned the Belgians’ authority but said it would review the study’s recommendations with the Irish data protection commissioner, adding that the company works hard to ensure people have control over what they share and with whom.

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She said: "Facebook is already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law, so the applicability of the CBPL’s efforts is unclear."

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