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Facebook is VIOLATING your SEXUAL privacy, warn Belgian data cops

Free content ad network could face EC court proceedings

Belgium’s privacy watchdog has pilloried Facebook for its tracking of users and non-users, saying it is in breach of EU law.

The Commission de Protection de la Vie Privée (CPVP) said it was staggered by the fashion in which Facebook tramples users’ rights and tracks them across the web whether they want it or not.

The Belgian data cops claimed:

Facebook violates European and Belgian legislation on privacy. It is in a unique position and can easily connect the browsing habits of its users to their real identity, their interactions on social networks and sensitive data such as medical information, preferences religious, sexual and political ...

The CPVP cannot impose fines directly on the web giant but it has demanded more information about how it monitors users, what information it collects and how it uses cookies.

In the meantime the privacy Commission advised people to use "do not track" services like Ghostery, Blur and Disconnect to protect themselves from Facebook’s data slurping. It said it had forwarded its findings to the national prosecutor’s office and that a criminal case could be in the offing.

One of the biggest concerns raised in a report drawn up for the Commission by the University of Leuven and iMinds is Facebook’s ability to profile non-users simply through their interaction with those who are signed up to the office time-waster.

The Belgian regulator is just one of the first to hit back hard against Facebook’s (relatively) new privacy policy which came into force earlier this year. The Dutch and German data protection agencies are also investigating Facebook as well as the pan-European Article 29 data protection group.

The huge cheap-ads platform denies any wrongdoing and a spokeswoman said on Friday that it was compliant with EU law under the Irish interpretation as it has its headquarters in Dublin. CPVP has refuted this claim.

Europe’s current data protection law is a directive meaning that is was written into national law differently in the different EU countries. A planned data protection regulation, which is currently being negotiated, would be applied the same throughout the EU removing this battle of jurisdictions. ®

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