Facebook Charged for Invasion of Privacy

Posted by Staff Reporter (media@realtytoday.com) on Jun 17, 2015 07:00 AM EDT
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Demonstration Held Against Facebook's Privacy Policiesmore big
PALO ALTO, CA - JUNE 04: Mary Guedon of the group Raging Grannies holds a sign as she protests outside of the Facebook headquarters June 4, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. The group was calling for the FTC to investigate FaceBook's privacy policies. (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Belgian Privacy Protection Commission (CPP) accused and charged Facebook of tracking the browsing habits of both its members and non-members.

According to BBC, the Belgian privacy watchdog is taking Facebook to court claiming that the popular social media tracks people across the web, without consent. This legal action by CPP came after its criticism of Facebook last May.

Facebook said it was surprised and disappointed by CPP's "theatrical action" because they are scheduled to meet on June 19 to discuss issues and recommendations that the commission has earlier raised.

A CPP spokeswoman explained that they took legal action for the failure of social media giant to provide "satisfactory answers" to the issues it raised. The commission charged Facebook of violating European privacy laws. It also asked the court to order Facebook to refrain from monitoring non-users by automatically putting plug-ins or cookies in users' computers.

Earlier on, Facebook claimed that the Belgian commission has no jurisdiction over Facebook because it is regulated in Europe by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. It also defended its actions of using cookies saying that it has been an "industry standard for more than 15 years".

A Facebook spokesperson said that their company is confident that CPP's case against them will have no merit but expresses their continued willingness to work with them in an effort to resolve their concerns, through a dialogue.

Charges of invasion of privacy are not new to Facebook. Early in 2014, Facebook faced a class action complaint for invading users' privacy as reported by Yahoo. More specifically, the complaint is directed against Facebook's messaging system, which among others is allowed to call phone numbers without intervention, send SMS messages, record audio with microphone, take pictures and videos with the camera, read phone's call log, including data about incoming and outgoing calls, and read user's personal profile information stored on the device. According to the charge, Facebook fails to explain what user information it receives, and how it scans, mines and manipulates the content of users' private messages.

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