Facebook must stop collecting user data, Belgian court rules

Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina in this

Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina in this

For a situation brought by Belgium's protection guard dog, the court additionally decided that Facebook needed to erase all information it had assembled unlawfully on Belgian subjects, including individuals who were not Facebook clients.

A Belgium court has undermined Facebook with a fine of up to 100 million euros ($156 million) in the event that it kept on infringing upon security laws by following individuals on outsider sites.

The social network faces fines of 250,000 euros (£221,000, $311,000) a day if it does not comply.

The 84-page verdict is based on a probe by Belgian privacy watchdog CPVP, which determined that Facebook used cookies and invisible pixels to track internet users' activity.

Facebook seems to be in trouble again as its legal battle with the Belgian commission for the protection of privacy (CPP) continues.

Echoing the privacy watchdog's conclusions, it said that the social network does not properly inform people about the fact it is gathering information about them. The court ruled the data was gathered illegally.

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There is also too much uncertainty about the type of data that Facebook collects and users don't know for how long the company stores the data. "We hope they will now make this a reality", it said.

Facebook has informed that it would appeal against the order.

Facebook previously said it was only subject to laws in Ireland, the site of its European headquarters.

The cookies and pixels we use are industry standard technologies and enable hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow their businesses and reach customers across the EU.

Facebook, it said, requires any business using its technologies to give "clear notice to end-users".

"We'll comply with this new law, just as we've complied with existing data protection law in Europe", said Richard Allan, Facebook's vice president of public policy for Europe, Middle East Africa.

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