back to article Facebook! You've got 48 hours to stop tracking people

Facebook has been ordered to stop tracking people that don't have accounts with it in the next 48 hours or face daily fines of 250,000 euros. The decision by a Belgian court follows a case brought by the country's privacy watchdog earlier this year in which it argued that the social media company was tracking everyone that …

  1. Bob Dole (tm)

    Facebook needs to start a country

    The Z man just needs to realize that the best way forward would be to establish his own little country. Someplace warm where they can make Mai Tai's ought to work.

    Then they can track whoever they feel like. All that's required would be to set up little agreements with various foreign governments so that those governments can log into a site and track what their citizens are doing. I'm sure all of them would agree to it.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Facebook needs to start a country

      They need to issue an international warrant for Zuckerber's arrest, and throw his ass in jail.

    2. zen1

      Re: Facebook needs to start a country

      So would that make Zuckerburg El Presidente bitch?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Five years

    > Facebook has already said it will appeal the ruling, arguing that it has used the cookie for five years

    I must try this if ever I'm had up for speeding: yes your honour, I was speeding, but I've always done so along that section of road so you should let me off.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Five years

      You know the answer to that - 5 years x 365 days x 250000 ~ half a billion Euros (with interest).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Five years

      Also don't forget to mention that you're speeding for the safety and security of your passengers.

  3. nuclearstar

    >>If users "like" or share a Facebook page, they also have a cookie installed in their browser, whether or not they are logged in or have an account with the company.

    How do you like or share a page if you don't have an account or are not signed in?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      You get the cookie if you click

      You get the cookie if you click as well as if FB CDN displays anything on your machine. Logging in is unnecessary.

      You also get it if you are served that "in-your-face" "people like it" dump which some websites hit you with.

      In either case there has been no request of consent to track as required by Eu directive so FB is going to find itself on the wrong side of the Eu data protection.

      1. nuclearstar

        Re: You get the cookie if you click

        But pretty much every website tracks you why single out facebook?

        Just look at this very website cookie policy

        One of them puts a cookie on your machine that lets

        "This tells us which sections of the site a user has visited and allows us to target them with an advert. e.g. read the Servers section, target with a Servers advert."

        The cookie is on your machine for 1 month. This is regardless if you log into the register, it is activated on a site visit

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You get the cookie if you click

          I think one of the issues here is not telling people about the cookie. You'll notice the first time you come to this site you get a notice informing you.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: You get the cookie if you click

          A cookie that tracks my usage of this site, so that this site can customise itself to me, is one thing.

          What Facebook tracks is my usage of countless sites that have nothing to do with Facebook. And I don't even have a Facebook account. And I don't keep cookies.

        3. David Pollard

          Re: You get the cookie if you click

          The cookie is on your machine for 1 month.

          Not here it isn't.

      2. GregC

        Re: You get the cookie if you click

        Logging in is unnecessary

        Apparently informed consent is also unnecessary. Facebook really can fuck right off.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You get the cookie if you click

          One of the 'tracking' things that bugs me about FB is facial recognition in those gazillions of pictures uploaded daily.

          If I understand it correctly, if I am at an event and I am photographed by by one of FB's minions and I am 'tagged' in that photograph, then FB looks through all the other pictures to see if there is a matching Fizzog to mine in one or more of them. Suddenly, FB knows were I have been as I am matched in evermore pictures taken in evermore places.

          That privacy I had as an undercover secret shopper is blown.

          No more casinos for me!

    2. VinceH

      I suspect that bit should refer to visiting pages on third party sites that include Facebook buttons [for registered Facebook users] to do those things - but the presence of which also plonks cookies on non-users' computers.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      You do not need to click "Like" to be FB tracked

      I personally use Ghostery browser on Android, and add the Ghostery plugin + Disconnect and associated plugins for it on my desktop browsers. As an example, has anywhere from 16 to 18 trackers on every page - FUCK THAT!!!!

      From "Facebook Disconnect" plugin for Mozilla:

      Facebook is notified whenever you visit one of the more than one million sites on the web that use Facebook Connect and has a history of leaking personally-identifiable info to third parties.

      Turn off the flow of your data to them!

      Facebook Disconnect blocks all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers but still lets you access Facebook itself.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: You do not need to click "Like" to be FB tracked

        I also recommend Self Destructing Cookies plugin.

        1. Stoneshop

          Re: You do not need to click "Like" to be FB tracked

          I also recommend Self Destructing Cookies plugin.

          Yeah. you don't want to eat a five year old cookie yourself. They need to be fresh, not soggy and mouldy.

          (Beer needs to be fresh too)

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: You do not need to click "Like" to be FB tracked

        I personally think anyone NOT running ghostery and an add-blocker are either technologically inept or crazy. It's amazing how much your browsing is being tracked by websites. And unfortunately more and more of them are now refusing to work if you don't enable some of them by the clever marketing ploy of combining the tracking function with an essential part of the websites coding, making it impossible to load ONLY the website or video you are trying to.

      3. Nattrash

        Re: You do not need to click "Like" to be FB tracked

        You do realise that Ghostery is a product of Ghostery Inc, whose business model is "collecting data about third party trackers through their browser extension software after the user opts-in, and then selling it to advertisers to better target their ads." ( Sure you can "opt-out", but I hope you don't mind me putting my tin foil hat on. Oh, and reading the other comments here: could help me explain what an "acceptable ad" (Adblock) is? Would that be deodorant and RedBull ads because I've sitting too long behind my computer?

  4. joed

    and what about W10?

    I just can't wait for MS getting served, no matter how low the likelihood was

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That is the reason that FB etc are blocked

    at my firewall.

    Yet somehow I still see a FB cookie in my Desktop PC's browser. Delete it and a few days later it appears again.


    The sooner this and other social Media sites are brought into line the better.

    Take the latest development from Pinterest

    So now anyone stupid enough to take a selfie in their home could become a target for thieves. The app identifies items of furniture etc that are in the picture. Hey, why not tell the world that I have a 78in TV etc etc. I'd fully expect any Insurance Company to reject any claims for things stolen that appeared in a Picture of your home and published on the Internet.

    Social Media? Not in my book. More like Snooping Masters IMHO.

  6. Stoneshop

    it has used the cookie for five years ...

    ...and that it helps keep the service "secure" for its 1.5 billion users

    That's a definition of 'secure' of which I was previously aware actually, because it has been distorted already. But what Farcebook really means is that they keep the service "secure" for the other webshites you visit, by signalling them that you are "good folk" that has visited Farcebook and left the cookie in place.

    Security through a cookie? It is to laugh.

  7. Rory B Bellows
    Big Brother

    Privacy Badger

    Nothing can stop the Privacy Badger from eating cookies when it's hungry!


    "Privacy Badger currently knows how to replace the following widgets if they are observed tracking you: AddThis, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, and Twitter"

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    This is all very nice but the UK Government wants to make Cocksucker Zuckerberg et al (damn spell checker) look like rank amateurs when it comes to data gathering and tracking.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it has used the cookie for five years

    I loved this argument. It's like politicians, bankers, spooks and thieves: but, but, but we've been doing it FOR YEARS?!

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: it has used the cookie for five years

      "politicians, bankers, spooks and thieves"

      Wasn't that a song by Cher?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark Zuckerberg is awesome

    Vote me down if you agree :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mark Zuckerberg is awesome

      yes, the man's definitely impressive, really high on my shit-list.

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