Facebook accused of spying, again
Facebook are constantly being accused of spying on people, and lawyers who are representing the Belgian data protection authority are saying that the social network has been acting like the American National Security Agency, snooping around on European users without authority.
We've previously reported about the action being taken by Belgium, and in court, the opening arguments, Frederic Debussere who is representing the Belgian privacy commission (BPC), referred to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations.
"When it became known that the NSA was spying on people all around the world, everybody was upset. This actoris doing the very same thing, albeit in a different way,” he said.
Facebook have denied any of the BPC's claims, which include users being tracked after they've logged out and, indeed, people who are non-users being tracked by the company's cookies also. As such, BPC is threatening Facebook with a fine of €250,000 per day.
A Facebook spokesperson said: "We will show the court how this technology protects people from spam, malware, and other attacks, that our practices are consistent with EU law and with those of the most popular Belgian websites." Of course, one thing the BPC might try and do, is sue everyone else who has the same methods as Facebook.
Paul Lefebvre, who represented Facebook, said: "How could Facebook be subject to Belgian law if the management of data gathering is being done by Facebook Ireland and its 900 employees in that country?"
Of course, this is a big case with the whole of Europe watching. Should the Belgians win their case, then other countries will pile in too. Over in Holland, they've started to get suspicious of the social network over privacy concerns.