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Only Facebook users in Belgium are now assured of higher levels of security after a privacy watchdog charged the social media giant with violating European Union privacy laws.

The privacy watchdog accused the social networking site of tracking non-users using cookies without their knowledge or consent, media reports said.

According to Endgadget, Facebook's ongoing legal predicament in Belgium is not concerned with how it treats users, though, but how it tracks any visitor to its pages, logged-in or not. 

Belgium's Privacy Protection Commission had raked up the issue with Facebook and taken the social media giant to court. The Belgian court asked Facebook to stop the practice and asked it to respect the right of non-users and their privacy. The website has gone into lockdown to pre-empt the order which is expected this week, IANS reported.

According to BBC, Facebook intends to contest the ruling but will comply with the order for the time being. By shutting visitors out of Facebook, they will no longer be traced with trackers, and "existing cookies for such individuals will be deleted where possible," the social media network said.

Facebook does not believe that it has violated European or Belgian laws and claims the cookies are vital to maintaining a secure service, according to Endgadget.

On the one hand, the social networking giant is expected to come to some sort of legal compromise with the Belgian Privacy Protection Commission to escape heavy fines that might be looming for its violation of EU privacy laws.

On the other hand, it is also possible that those who want to cut Facebook down to size will see this case as a precedent that can be emulated across all the EU countries which would mean that serious trouble might be brewing on the continent for Facebook. 

At present, only those in Belgium who are logged in can view Facebook pages and the network surely would not want a similar situation in other European nations.

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