Facebook is Being Taken To Court by the ‘Heart of Europe’

Facebook is being taken to court for tracking users, including those who are not members of the social network.

Facebook is watching you and if you don’t believe us, ask Belgium’s privacy watchdog, which has filed a suit against the US tech titan in Brussels. The country’s Privacy Protection Commission (CPP) accused Facebook of tracking people across the web, users and non-users alike. The body had already warned the social media in May sending several recommendations that have allegedly been ignored by Facebook.

The Belgian watchdog, joined hands with fellow European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Spain, accusing Facebook of disregarding the Old Continent’s laws in the area of privacy. A Facebook spokesman said it was surprised by the “theatrical action” as it was due to meet the watchdog this week to discuss their recommendations.


The social network is being accused of a number of privacy violations. Facebook is being taken to court with Belgium witch-hunting the tech giant over its tracking practices. The watchdog believes that Facebook is tracking web browsing of all visitors; including those who purposely switched tracking functions off, those who are logged-out and even people who are not members in the first place. Now the question comes…how? Well, with Cookies.


Cookies are used to identify and store user’s information and possibly prepare customized Web pages. These small files usually send information to your Web browser, which then stores them for later use, so that – for instance – you don’t always have to re-enter your password every time you visit a specific page.

According to the investigation, Facebook tracks Internet users on external websites through the use of ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons by default, instead of after seeking permission. This means, for example, that the ‘Share’ icon on every given page may actually be a way to access your information even though you are not interacting with it. That static icon that looks so harmless on your computer screen could actually be watching you. Right now. This is illegal under both Belgian and European law. It is not surprising that Facebook is being taken to court, considering the fact that its data collection practices are increasingly under fire.

What seems problematic according to the Belgian watchdog, is Facebook’s targeted advertisement systems based on extrapolating personal information. The N.1 social network can flesh out profiles with information based on external websites and mobile apps for marketing purpose, thus fuelling concerns about how it treats personal privacy. For many in Europe, it is not surprising that Facebook is being taken to court as it is not the first time the company has been slammed for its lack of transparency.

The battle is so alive that there is even a website called “Europe versus Facebook”. Facebook is being taken to court in Brussels and the case will be heard on Thursday 18 June.