A Brussels court has ordered Facebook to stop tracking Belgian internet users when they browse third-party websites, or face substantial daily fines, local media reported on Monday.
According to L’Echo newspaper, the social network has 48 hours to comply with the order, or incur a fine of 250,000 euros (USD268,560) per day.
The ruling comes after a complaint by the Belgian Privacy Commission about Facebook’s use of a cookie called “datr,” which collects statistical information on the behavior of a browser on sites which use Facebook social plugins.
Facebook says it deletes the data after 10 days and users are free to remove the cookie at any time.
According to Le Soir newspaper, the Brussels court ruling is critical of Facebook for collecting data about people who do not even own a Facebook account, but who have had the cookie set nonetheless.
The newspaper says the court order could create a precedent for other European privacy watchdogs to take the same action. (PNA)