The Belgian Data Observatory issued new recommendations to Facebook, inviting the company to more clearly explain the practice of collecting Internet users data through site elements with invisible pixel tracking.
The country is reportedly following the line of France and the European Commission to take various actions against Facebook, which are aimed at fines, for privacy violations.
The tracking pixel or tracking pixel is neither a visible icon nor a cookie. It comes in the form of a line of code loaded in the background of the web page, as users visit the social network with the browser they choose. The code generates a microscopic image of a pixel or pixel size, the smallest visual element in a digital display that is almost invisible to the human eye.
Facebook has long allowed its advertisers to create targeted marketing using invisible tracking pixels to measure the number of Facebook users who see their ads on the social network, track sales conversions, and get their navigation history.
Once the pixel is loaded into a browser, it can send the user's IP address and activity on the web to the server on the page containing the ad. In addition to Facebook, tracking pixels are commonly used in web analytics to implement targeted advertising.
The Belgian regulator has expressed concern that Facebook receives too much personal data for targeted advertising. He also pointed out that Facebook over-monitors Internet users without providing them with sufficient checks in the form of consent.
The Dutch regulator announced earlier that Facebook breached Dutch privacy law for the same reasons. However, instead of imposing a fine, he worked with Facebook to take some corrective action. These measures appear to have been implemented by the social network but do not cover all the concerns of the regulator.
The French data regulator had imposed a fine on Facebook of EUR 150.000 for violating data protection rules and chose not to work with Facebook to implement any changes.
Europe's controversy with Facebok does not seem to stop there. The European Commission also imposed a fine of € 110 for misleading operations on how the company combines WhatsApp users' data with Facebook accounts to create targeted ads.
Belgium has not yet imposed a fine on Facebook. The Belgian regulator will examine the legality of all Facebook data tracking mechanisms before allowing Facebook's legal service to be heard at the end of this year.