Facebook has lost a lawsuit against a Belgian court claiming the social media company had illegally gained data on its users via third party websites, cookies and other methods to track data. The company is being threatened with a 100 million euro fine ($125 million USD).
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Facebook monitors its users as well as others who may not have an account via third party websites that send the information to the social media company. It is unclear what Facebook does with the data, but a Belgian court ruled it illegal to store the information without the consent of its users.
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The court stated, “Facebook informs us insufficiently about gathering information about us, the kind of data it collects, what it does with the data and how long it stores it.” Facebook has launched a campaign to stress the importance of privacy, the Belgian court is simply making Facebook adhere to its campaign.
Facebook Vice President of Europe and Middle East Africa stated, “We’ll comply with this new law, just as we’ve complied with existing data protection law in Europe.” Facebook will be fined 250,000 euros a day until the problems are corrected, or up to 100 million euros.
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This is a groundbreaking ruling as it sets a precedent for what online companies can and cannot do with user information. In the digital age where information is as big a resource as capital it is very important to make sure companies are not doing anything malicious or unethical with the information of its users.