Facebook accused by EU regulators for trampling on European and Belgian privacy laws

Facebook accused by EU regulators for trampling on European and Belgian privacy

On Friday, Belgium's privacy watchdog accused Facebook for infringing on European privacy laws.

Belgium's Privacy Protection Commission (CPVP/CBPL)claimed that Facebook tracked people online without their consent and dodged questions from European regulators.

Internet users had to install privacy software to shield themselves from Facebook tracking them, regardless of whether they had accounts on Facebook or not.

CPVP, which was working with its German, Dutch, French and Spanish counterparts attacked Facebook after trying to find out more of its practices.

In a statement, it said that the social networking giant has refused to recognize Belgian and other EU national jurisdictions. It insisted that it was subject only to the law in Ireland, the site of its European headquarters.

CPVP said that the results of its study were 'disconcerting' and mentioned that Facebook would not explain in detail how it used the data it collected.

The allegations by Belgian authority were denied by a Facebook spokeswoman. She added that the company would review the study's recommendations with the Irish data protection commissioner.

She said, "We work hard to make sure people have control over what they share and with whom. Facebook is already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law, so the applicability of the commission's efforts is unclear".

This is the second damning report this year on Facebook's use of data from the Belgian Privacy Commission. In February, it said it placed "too much burden" on users to navigate its complex settings.

Last month, a case was launched by European anti-trust regulators against Google. They are also investigating probing Apple and Amazon over low-tax deals with Ireland and Luxembourg.

The European Commission is studying whether to pursue German and French proposals for an EU-wide regulator for Internet platforms.