Court finds facebook is violating privacy laws

A Belgian court has ordered the social networking website Facebook to stop recording the activities of Belgian internet users who have not given explicit authorisation for this. The judge made his ruling after Belgium's Privacy Commission went to court unhappy with facebook's practice of logging the web history of internet users in Belgium.
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A court in Brussels has provided an interim ruling and found in the Commission's favour. If facebook flouts the ban it will have to pay a 250,000 euro fine for every day it ignores the ruling.

Facebook uses cookies that remember when even non facebook users log onto a particular facebook page. The cookies that may enhance the online experience and can e.g. be used to record a user's language remain for two years.

The judge in his interim ruling now finds that this is personal data and that under Belgian privacy law the user must first give his explicit permission for their use. Internet users who are not facebook members have not given their permission and this is a permission that facebook will in future have to seek.