Facebook responds to Belgian tracking claims

Facebook: The social network said it is already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law, so the applicability of the Belgian regulator’s efforts are therefore unclear.  Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Facebook: The social network said it is already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law, so the applicability of the Belgian regulator’s efforts are therefore unclear. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

 
FacebookBelgian Privacy Commission

The Belgian regulator said Facebook “processes” the personal data of its members, as well as of all internet users who come into contact with the social network.

“Facebook does this secretively: no consent is asked for this ‘tracking and tracing’ and the use of cookies,” the commission said in a report.

“There is nothing more important to us than the privacy of our users, and we work hard to make sure people have control over what they share and with whom,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Irish Times in response to the Belgian report.

The social network said it is already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law, so the applicability of the Belgian regulator’s efforts are therefore unclear.

“We will of course review the recommendations when we receive them with our European regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner,” the spokesperson said.

Intrusive use

“The way in which these members’, and all internet users’, privacy is denied calls for measures,” said Willem Debeuckelaere, the privacy commission’s president.

In the past, Facebook has contended that because Facebook Ireland controls the processing of data for all European users, its policies throughout Europe are solely governed by the Irish Privacy Commission.

Meanwhile, Facebook is planning to build a €200 million data centre in Co Meath.

The data centre would be the social network’s second outside of the US.

The company already has a 2,6942sq m (290,000sq f) facility in Lulea in the north of Sweden.