Barricade Yourself Against Facebook's Invasions With Privacy Tools, Says Belgium

By Gary Cutlack on at

A Belgian security watchdog has suggested its countryfolk install additional layers of security on their computers if they must use Facebook, claiming the ubiquitous social network is "trampling" on European privacy rules in pursuit of masses of internet data.

The most damning criticism in the Belgian Privacy Commission report is that Facebook tracks users who "like" posts through web site plugins, and also has the ability to track users who aren't even logged in to their accounts. The answer is to install privacy software even if you don't have a Facebook account at all, should you not want to be a statistic in a future presentation to advertisers.

The BPC is quite aggressive in its attack on Zuckerberg's immensely popular dog and baby photo portal, saying: "Facebook tramples on European and Belgian privacy laws ... Facebook has shown itself particularly miserly in giving precise answers."

The Commission would like Facebook to alter the way its plugins work, and suggests that site owners should be more careful about what they use to manage their social engagement. Facebook says it's "already regulated in Europe and complies with European data protection law," so isn't doing anything outside of current data harvesting regulations. [Reuters via Wired]