Regulators in the European Union (EU) have found the way Meta uses targeted ads across Facebook and Instagram to be illegal in the region, and issued both services with fines totaling €390m.
Permit (Opens in a new tab) Filed by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) it claims the company has three months to change its advertising practices or face further action.
DPC rejected the idea that by signing up for Facebook and Instagram, users agree to receive personalized ads based on their data.
As such, one of the primary changes Facebook is likely to make is to offer European users an “enablement” to use data to serve ads, according to Max Schrems, honorary president of privacy advocacy group NOEP.
In its original ruling, the DPC agreed with Meta’s legal argument that user participation constitutes a contract, but now claims that it is bound by the EU’s European Data Protection Board (EDPB) recommendations.
This is a change of tune for DPC, but it’s still, for the most part, in the Meta corner. In the same statement, it claimed to be seeking a ruling against further EDPB pressure to force the committee to investigate all Meta data handling practices across Facebook and Instagram.
However, Schrems remains confident that the planned opt-in will provide a means of obtaining vital and transparent consent to grant Meta, and other tech giants operating in Europe, to collect European user data.
“This is a huge blow to Meta’s profits in the EU,” he claimed. People now need to be asked whether or not they want their data to be used for ads. They should have a ‘yes or no’ option and can change their mind at any time. The decision also ensures a level playing field with other advertisers who also need to get opt-in consent. .
However, it is unlikely that this will be an open and closed case, Meta has said that it is “disappointed” with the decision, plans to appeal, and believes it will not provide users with opt-in data usage.
Via Politico (Opens in a new tab)