back to article Our cookies save you from TERRORISTS, Facebook thunders to Belgian judge

Facebook's long-anticipated privacy case in Belgium has begun, with lawyers for the country's privacy regulator asking the judge not to be “intimidated” by The Social NetworkTM. The regulator's set the rhetoric-rheostat to “high”, accusing the advertising network of acting like America's NSA in the extent of its spying on …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    FFS not again...

    If I'm not a member of $SiteX and visit $SiteY, I do not want $SiteX setting a cookie. If I wanted $SiteX to set a cookie I'd become a member of $SiteX & then & *ONLY* then have I given permission for $SiteX to know about me... But *ONLY* while ON the site, NOT while roaming elsewhere.

    If I get a "Discount Club Card" from the local Tesco, they get to know that I've made a purchase when I arrive at the register & hand the card (cookie) over. They can associate my purchases to my account. That's fine. But they do NOT get to track my every movement beyond their doors. Just because I let them know what I'm buying IN the Tesco store is NOT permission to track what I'm doing anywhere ELSE. Not in the tailor, not the laundromat, not the car wash, not the pub, NOWHERE.

    Which is why $SiteX is listed in my Hosts file, cookies from them blocked, and they can Kiss My Fekkin Arse if they get to know ANYTHING about me.

    That "Prompt to set a cookie" option of the browser may be a PITA sometimes, but it comes in QUITE handy when $SiteX appears on $SiteY & demands to update itself. What does $SiteX have to do with $SiteY? If it's not jolly well bloody obvious (like I got to $SiteY via an official link from $SiteX), then $SiteX doesn't get to set it's damned cookie.

    Just because some wanker of a webdev added a "Like" button to their page is NOT me giving permission to $SiteX to track me there. I don't want your damned cookie, I don't want you tracking me, and you can just go back to your closet beneath the stairs & bugger yourself with a 12u rack of Server Farm.

    1. g e

      Re: FFS not again...

      Does not blocking 3rd party cookies defeat this crap?

      Though I totally agree you shouldn't have to know about it and have to go and do it.

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    When Global Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Simon Deadman walks into a court room do people say 'deadman walking' !!!!!!!

    1. Dazed and Confused

      When Global Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Simon Deadman walks into a court room do people say 'deadman walking' !!!!!!!

      I understand the judge has bought a very natty black cap just for that very joke.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Tim99 Silver badge

    Facebook Connect

    Ghostery shows that the article has a Facebook Connect tracker (Link here).

    The Comments/Post Comment page does not show anything from Facebook - I'm not sure if this is irony, or not.

    1. Sixtysix

      Re: Facebook Connect

      Indeed - Facebook and two twitter.

      All blocked - Ghostery FTW

  5. Old Handle

    What?? How is, why would, I don't even...

    Did he really say that? If so I'd like to hear him explain how dropping cookies from 3rd party sites has anything do with improving security.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What?? How is, why would, I don't even...

      And when he can't I hope they run him for contempt of court.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: What?? How is, why would, I don't even...

      In the twisted world of Facebook & C., everybody refusing to share his or her private data *is* a terrorist, he or she undermines the very foundations of their brave new world, built upon the principle 'what is yours is mine, what is mine is mine'.

      Thereby everybody without a Facebook cookie implanted is a 'terrorist', he or she really terrorize management, maybe one day their dirty snooping for money may be forced to an end.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "Lefebvre told the court the company [..] is actually an info-sec measure"

    So now it's official : Facebook is the public face of the NSA and the two work hand-in-hand (or should I say, server-in-server ?).

    Thank you for that information, Mr. Lefebvre. I will be repeating it.

  7. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    How does this work, then ? Are there still people who allow persistent cookies ? And web devs that imagine they'll continue to ?

    1. VinceH

      "Are there still people who allow persistent cookies ?"

      Sadly, yes - just about everyone who uses the intertubes but isn't likely to read sites like this one.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "We trade from Eire and are thereby only bound by Irish law"

    What a crock! They "trade" in a territory - they are surely bound by the laws of that territory. If there was any real basis for this then Im sure most of the big companies would be operating from their Botswana office or similar where data protection laws are a little more "relaxed".

    The Arrogance of Arsebook knows no bounds. I refuse to join their data mining operation, I wont even let people use my machine "to quickly check to see if they still have a life".

    AC and facebook free!

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    And people still wonder

    why I do not do Facebook.

    1. Bluto Nash

      Re: And people still wonder

      Ah, but you DO "do Facebook" if you ask your cookies, don't you? Kinda the point of the whole article, and wrong on so many levels it requires exponentiation.

  10. OliverJ

    Cynical and disgusting

    Facebook lawyer probably thought that the "info-sec" approach is a clever spin due to the Thalys incident in Belgium lately. How cynical and disgusting to describe a marketing tool for optimizing a users profile by gathering more data about him and ultimately sell more ads as a public service to improve cyber security. Facebook is a disgrace for the community.

  11. The JP

    Pseudonym's not permitted!

    Isn't it "Stephen" Deadman? I thought Facebook prohibited the use of pseudonyms.

  12. Securitymoose

    Apostrophes or apostrophe's

    Plurals don't get one, dudes. Regulator's - argh Register, I thought you knew better. Punch your editor for me will you. And JP - shame on you :-)

    Do have a look at this you guys:

    Sadly I see a lot of it in my editing

    1. VinceH

      Re: Apostrophes or apostrophe's

      "Plurals don't get one, dudes. Regulator's - argh Register, I thought you knew better."

      Looking at the sentence in question, I think it's valid - the sentence being:

      "The regulator's set the rhetoric-rheostat to “high”"

      I think that use of "regulator's" is short for "regulator has" (though, TBH, I'd have preferred the expansion used in this case).

    2. The JP

      Re: Apostrophes or apostrophe's

      Sorry - guilty as charged. It happened before my morning coffee if that provides a defence.

      1. Sixtysix

        Re: Apostrophes or apostrophe's

        An understandable consequence of a foolish choice - add requirement for caffiene to Lessons Learned

  13. Bota

    Ad Block Plus

    Allows you to block al social media trackers from your internet browsing sessions. Highly recommend it, fucking Sucka-turd can get his info somewhere else. Facebook was funded by In-q-tel, in other words - the CIA. I use it once a week, if that and want to leave (but:family all over the world) so I try to avoid it like the plague.

    1. Sixtysix

      Re: Ad Block Plus

      I used to recommend ABP, and use it myself, but while still on my machine I have not enabled in several months... it is now MUCH too resource intensive if you have more than one or two tabs open (I regularly get to over one width full - about 10, YMMV) and regularly sat at over 50% CPU and over 1.5GB memory - everything ran slowly, if at all, and random crashes were the final straw.

      I now rely on Ghostery and No-Script which prevent the obvious behaviours I dislike: privacy, tracking, linking, and criple "bad" ads.

      Removing Flash and Java also has a hugely positive effect on many sites, but leaves others completely non-functional: surely a breach of accessibility law?

      1. Weeble

        Re: Ad Block Plus

        "Removing Flash and Java also has a hugely positive effect on many sites, but leaves others completely non-functional: surely a breach of accessibility law?"

        I too would be interested to know the answer to that.

        What classes of sites have to be "accessible", and do the rules require that accessibility to be achieveable from a snoop-free browser with images, flash and scripting turned off, all known privacy measures & ad-blockers enabled, and running under Free-BSD (or a similarly paranoid OS)?

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