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Facebook faces $312,000-a-day fine in Belgium till it plugs privacy breach

The hallmarks of top tech companies have long been Innovation and market expansion, ever since the internet boom changed the way we exist.

Recent developments in the tech arena have shed light on another factor that has become common among these firms. And, that is lawsuits over privacy infringement.

Facebook, the star among the FANG quartet, is the latest to come in the court’s firing line. A Belgian judge has ruled that the company would be fined 250,000 euros (about $312,000) a day for failing to delete information it allegedly gathered without consent.

It is not the first time the social media behemoth is facing legal action in Europe for poking its nose too much into the online activities of people, including non-Facebook users. Earlier, Twitter and Google had landed in similar troubles, after being accused of breaching privacy laws set by the European Union.

The regulators are particularly peeved by the lack of clarity on the part of Facebook about the type of information it collects and the potential use of the same. The court said Facebook extensively uses cookies on third-party websites to track users’ behavior and asked the heads of the company to stop the practice. As per the EU rules, it is mandatory for any entity to obtain due consent before gathering/storing online data.

A Belgian judge has ruled that the company would be fined 250,000 euros (about $312,000) a day for failing to delete information it allegedly gathered without consent

The case pertaining to the latest ruling dates back to 2015 when the Belgian Commission for the Protection of Privacy accused Facebook of indulging in online tracking without permission. Though Facebook succeeded in turning an earlier order in its favor, the court reversed it after finding merit in the Commission’s claim.

Meanwhile, Facebook said it would appeal against the court order, arguing that its tracking codes are standard technologies that help commercial enterprises reach out to customers.

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