February 16, 2018 / 2:48 PM / 4 months ago

Facebook loses Belgian privacy case, faces fine up to $125 million

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian court threatened Facebook with a fine of up to 100 million euros ($125 million) if it continued to break privacy laws by tracking people on third party websites.

FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye, in Zenica, March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

In a case brought by Belgium’s privacy watchdog, the court also ruled on Friday that Facebook had to delete all data it had gathered illegally on Belgian citizens, including people who were not Facebook users themselves.

Facebook, which will be fined 250,000 euros a day or up to 100 million euros if it does not comply with the court’s judgement, said in a statement it would appeal the ruling.

“Facebook informs us insufficiently about gathering information about us, the kind of data it collects, what it does with that data and how long it stores it,” the court said.

“It also does not gain our consent to collect and store all this information,” it added in a statement.

The social media group uses different methods to track the online behaviour of people if they are not on the company’s web site by placing cookies and invisible pixels on third party web sites, the court said.

($1 = 0.8024 euros)

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Alexander Smith

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