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Facebook wins 'Big Brother' award in Belgium

The social network won the not-so-prestigious award for its default privacy settings.

Facebook won the dishonor for its privacy settings.

via EDRi

Facebook is watching you.

The social media giant won the "Big Brother" Award in Belgium on Thursday. The award is named after the dystopian government surveillance in George Orwell's "1984," and given to the "biggest privacy-offender of the year," according to the Flemish League for Human rights, which runs the awards, and its partners.

Facebook, nominated by international digital advocacy group EDRi, won after being criticized for its default privacy settings in a unanimous decision. The social network didn't respond to requests for comment.

"Facebook has access to a wide range of personal data, and it tracks your movements across the web, whether you are logged in or not," EDRi said. "And the devil is in the default: To opt out, you are expected to navigate Facebook's complex web of settings."

Facebook beat out three other candidates for the anti-privacy award, including Belgium's data retention law, paperless cash and the Belgian government's lack of transparency for criminal investigations.