Facebook Spying On Belgians Just Like NSA: BPC

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Facebook is facing yet another charges of spying, but this time its in Europe. Lawyers representing Belgian data protection authority accused the U.S. firm of spying European users just like the National Security Agency of the US, says a report from the Guardian.

Breaching privacy laws

BPC has accused Facebook of trampling over Belgian and European privacy law. In a report, BPC has detailed all the charges against the US including the tracking of non-users and logged-out Facebook users for advertising purposes. If Facebook fails to respond to the BPC demands, it will have to pay a fine of €250,000 ($280,213) a day.

In the opening arguments of this closely watched case, Frederic Debussere, who represented the Belgian Privacy Commission (BPC), made a reference to the revelations to NSA whistle-blower, Edward Snowden. “When it became known that the NSA was spying on people all around the world, everybody was upset. This actor [Facebook] is doing the very same thing, albeit in a different way,” the lawyer said.

Now, data protection regulators across the rest of Europe, including the Netherlands, have also started questioning the privacy practices of Facebook. Debussere says there is no need to be intimidated by Facebook, adding that the social network may argue that the demands of BPC cannot be implemented Belgium alone, but “Our demands can be perfectly implemented just in this country.”

Facebook says its not guilty

Facebook has been denying all the claims, saying the data and opinions in the BPC’s Facebook privacy report are not true. The U.S. firm will show to the court how the technology is protecting people from spam and malware, and it’s practices are consistent with EU laws and with the most popular Belgian websites, said a Facebook spokesperson. Facebook has also been saying that all its European operations and practices are audited and governed by the Irish data protection agency which  has its European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.

In its defense, Facebook said it has always offered to help resolve the concerns of Belgian data protection authority, despite this it took Facebook to court for the activities it doesn’t do. It also said that the Belgian data protection authority conceded its original case, and is now stopping Facebook from making use of security technology “because they misunderstand it.”

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