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Facebook 'Datr cookie' spying activities violate Belgian privacy law

A court in Belgium has ordered Facebook to stop tracking internet users who are not members of the social network, BBC reported on Monday.

The court concluded that before collecting information, Facebook needed to obtain the consent of these users.

“The judge ruled that this is personal data, which Facebook can only use if the internet user expressly gives their consent, as Belgian privacy law dictates,” said the court in a statement.

Facebook said it will appeal against the order which is related to the use of what is known as a “datr” cookie by the social networking giant.

Every time users click a Facebook “Like” button on other websites on their browser, Facebook would use the datr cookie to track any online activities that browser conducts.

The Brussels court ordered the company to stop using the cookie to track non-Facebook members within 48 hours, or pay a daily fine of roughly $268,900, to the Belgian privacy regulator.

“We will appeal the decision and are working to minimise any disruption to people’s access to Facebook in Belgium,” a Facebook spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

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