This article was published on November 24, 2015

Lost in translation: Facebook privacy case reportedly held up by language barrier

Lost in translation: Facebook privacy case reportedly held up by language barrier

A legal case that has led to Facebook being ordered to make changes to the way it tracks users in Belgium has been delayed by the process of translating the documents into English.

The case revolves around Facebook’s use of a tracking cookie that was monitoring non-members of the network who were not logged into the service. The study was commission by the Belgian Privacy Commission, which reported its findings in March.

Earlier this month, Facebook was told to stop tracking these users in this way or face a fine of up to €250,000 ($266,000) per day.

From Facebook’s side, it argues that the cookie helps it protect users’ accounts.

“We met with the BPC and provided them specific solutions addressing their concerns about our security cookie. This cookie helped us stop more than 33,000 account takeover attempts in Belgium in the last month, and similar cookies are used by most major internet services,” the company told the BBC.

In other European Facebook privacy woes, the ongoing legal case brought about by Austrain activist Max Schrems that has led to a major change in the way data is transferred between Europe and the US is being sent to Austria’s Supreme Court to decide whether class-action status should be granted. If it is, this could potentially open the door on thousands more claimants joining the suit.

We’ve contacted the BPC and Facebook to see if there’s an official timeline for when the ruling will be officially served – and therefore put into effect – and will update if we hear back.

➤ Facebook privacy judgement ‘waiting for translation’ [BBC]

Back to top