Belgium Not Satisfied with Facebook’s Revised Privacy Policy

By David Cohen Comment

BelgiumFlagMapThe revised privacy policy implemented by Facebook last month was not enough for regulators in Belgium.

The Guardian reported that a study by the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT at the University of Leuven found that the January update merely expanded on already existing policies, and it still violates consumer-protection law in the European Union.

According to The Guardian, representatives from Facebook met with Belgian federal secretary for combating social fraud, privacy and North Sea Bart Tommelein to discuss the report, which offered the following examples of concern:

  • Facebook’s statement of rights and responsibilities contains a number of provisions that do not comply with the Unfair Contract Terms Directive. These violations were already present in 2013, and they are set to persist in 2015.
  • Facebook places too much burden on its users. Users are expected to navigate Facebook’s complex web of settings in search of possible opt-outs. Facebook’s default settings related to behavioral profiling or social ads, for example, are particularly problematic.
  • Users are offered no choice whatsoever with regard to their appearance in “sponsored stories” or the sharing of location data.
  • We argue that the collection or use of device information envisaged by the 2015 data use policy does not comply with the requirements of article 5(3) of the EU e-Privacy Directive, which requires free and informed prior consent before storing or accessing information on an individual’s device.

Readers: How will this play out?

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