Facebook wins appeal in Belgium over non-user data storage.

The Brussels Court of Appeal has said that Belgian data protection rules couldn’t prevent Facebook from storing data belonging to non-users which Facebook says it retained to help it combat hacking attacks.

Referring to the company’s headquarters in Europe in the ruling on 29th June 2016, the Court of Appeal said:

“Belgian courts don’t have international jurisdiction over Facebook Ireland, where the data concerning Europe is processed.”

Facebook had appealed against a ruling in 2015 that ordered the social network provider to stop storing data from people who don’t have an account with them. Failure to abide by this ruling would potentially have resulted in a daily fine being levied against Facebook of 250,000 euro.

The Court annulled the 2015 ruling which had attracted comments from the president of the Belgian data protection commission that Facebook’s treatment of users’ personal data was “disrespectful” and “needs tackling”. The Court said that it would now focus fully on a separate case relating to Facebook’s use of cookies for both users and non-users.

By Daniel Gardener

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