In a court case that has widespread ramifications. A Belgian court has ordered Facebook to cease tracking users without their consent (and delete all held data on non-Facebook users).

The ruling relates to cookie tracking on third-party sites. A practice that we all commonly use to align our retargeting efforts. According to an article on BBC:

Belgium’s privacy watchdog said the website had broken privacy laws by placing tracking code — known as cookies — on third-party websites. Facebook said it would appeal against the ruling.

Facebook’s vice president of public policy in Europe, Richard Allan, responded by saying:

The cookies and pixels we use are industry standard technologies and enable hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow their businesses and reach customers across the EU.

It will be interesting to see what effect this has globally. Third-party cookie tracking is a very useful tool and losing the ability to do so will have an impact.

We will keep you updated.