BRUSSELS?Facebook Inc. on Wednesday won its appeal at a Brussels court against Belgium's privacy watchdog, allowing the U.S. tech company to restore its ability to collect information about internet users in the country not registered with the social media site.
Facebook was appealing a previous court ruling that ordered the company to stop collecting data on nonmembers' internet browsing through a snippet of computer code called a cookie that it places within an individual's web browser if they have visited the Facebook.com website.
The U.S. tech company had since blocked the site's public pages to all nonregistered members in Belgium because it says the cookie is necessary to discern hackers from regular users.
"We are pleased with the court's decision and look forward to bringing all our services back online for people in Belgium," a Facebook spokeswoman said.
The cookie, known as a datr cookie, reports back to Facebook whenever a person's browser accesses a webpage with an active social plug-in, such as a "like" button and helps the computer system recognize whether the user has accessed the site problem-free in the past.
The court ruled in favor of Facebook's argument that the Belgian system wasn't the appropriate jurisdiction to rule on certain decisions involving the company. Facebook has said it only has to answer to the regulator in Ireland, where the company's European headquarters are based.
"The decision is unfortunately not in our favor...we're not happy obviously," said Sarah Boulerhcha, a spokeswoman for the Belgian Privacy Commission.
The commission said it would bring its own appeal to the decision at a separate court and investigate Facebook over all aspects of its business, not only the datr cookie.
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