THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook come under fire yet again from the Belgian Privacy Commission, which has critcised the website's "disregard" for European law.
Documents seen by The INQUIRER show that the Belgian Privacy Commission warned Facebook on Friday that it's "make or break" time for the company to respect the private lives of internet users.
Commission president Willem Debeuckelaere said in a statement: "Facebook is the social network which almost half of all Belgians are a member of. The way in which these members' and all internet users' privacy is denied calls for measures.
"With this recommendation we have taken a first step towards Facebook, and all internet stakeholders who use Facebook, in order to ensure they start working in a privacy-friendly way. It's bend or break."
The Belgian regulator said in its report that the company must be clear about the information it records, and must stop using cookies to track people when they are logged out of Facebook or have deactivated their accounts.
It added that Facebook must also stop collecting information through its 'Like' and 'Share' buttons, unless people have given their explicit consent to being tracked in this way.
Facebook responded to the remarks and said that, while the protection of user data is its number one priority, the firm is subject to law only in Ireland, the site of its European headquarters.
A Facebook spokesperson told The INQUIRER in a statement: "As we expressed to the [Belgian Privacy Commission] in person when we met, 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.
"Facebook is already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law, so the applicability of the [Belgian Privacy Commission's] efforts are unclear.
"But we will of course review the recommendations when we receive them with our European regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner." µ
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