After facing the heat in India for net neutrality, Facebook has been pulled up by French authorities for tracking the browsing of non-users, which they say violates privacy laws. The nation's data protection authority has told the social network that it has just three months to stop tracking the browsing of non-users and sending them to the US, or it will face fines up to €150,000 (£116,000, $168,000).
"Facebook transfers personal data to the United States on the basis of Safe Harbour, although the Court of Justice of the European Union declared invalid such transfers in its ruling of October 6, 2015," the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) said in a statement.
Under the order, Facebook has been asked to inform non-users that their internet surfing is being tracked. The private data according to the authorities is being tracked by the social media giant to seek information about users's religious beliefs, sexual orientation and other sensitive information.
Facebook, however maintained that it complied with all EU laws. "Protecting the privacy of the people who use Facebook is at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to engaging to respond to the CNIL's concerns," a Facebook spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.
Under the Safe Harbour agreement in the past, organisations based in the US were allowed to pull private data from servers in Europe back to the Atlantic. But a lawsuit against Facebook in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) received backing after which the arrangement was deemed potentially dangerous and scrapped in 2015.
A statement issued by the ECJ after the ruling had said, "Legislation permitting the public authorities to have access on a generalized basis to the content of electronic communications must be regarded as compromising the essence of the fundamental right to respect for private life."
Late last year, Belgium's Privacy Commission also ordered Facebook to stop tracking non-users when they weren't on the site.