Facebook handed three month French ultimatum to cease tracking non-members

Facebook has been ordered to cease tracking non-members in France within three months, halt the transfer of some personal data to the US and increase minimum password strength from six to eight characters in the latest European crackdown on privacy issues.

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Failure to comply with these demands could see Facebook hit by fine issued by the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), the French data protection body.

This follows the ending of the Safe Harbour agreement to govern the transfer of data from Europe to the US although Facebook insusts it has other legal contracts in place to govern these transfers.

The French ruling follows a similar move in Belgium last year in response to concern that Facebook currently tracks everyone who visits its site, irrespective of whether they are members or not, by installing cookies to record web activity.

This data can be held by Facebook for up to two years.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “Protecting the privacy of the people who use Facebook is at the heart of everything we do. We... look forward to engaging with the CNIL to respond to their concerns.”