European Union Extends Ban on Meta’s Behavioral Advertising: Latest Updates and Implications

2023-11-01 16:52:54

The ban on any “behavioral ” imposed by Norway on Meta, parent company of the Facebook and Instagram platforms, will be extended to all countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area, a announced Wednesday, November 1, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the main European privacy authority. It thus confirms a information published the day before by Datatilsynetsthe Norwegian regulator.

This practice, which consists of using the personal data of Internet users to submit targeted advertisements to them, is considered to contravene the European data regulation (GDPR), in particular because Meta would not meet the obligations of obtaining the explicit consent of its users before to start collecting personal data.

It all started in mid-July, when the Norwegian data regulator ordered Meta to stop collecting, without explicit consent, data from Facebook and Instagram users in order to send them targeted advertisements. From mid-August, it began to impose a daily fine of around 90,000 euros on him for this reason.

It is this ban that the EDPB wanted, for “an urgent and binding decision” adopted on Friday, extend to the thirty countries of the European Economic Area (the twenty-seven EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), he announced in a press release. He asks the data regulator of Ireland, where Meta’s European headquarters is located and which therefore has authority over the group, to take action “within two weeks” to ban on Meta platforms “any processing of personal data for behavioral purposes”, specifies the EDPB. This decision “binding” was served on Monday to Meta, which risks heavy fines in the event of non-compliance.

Read also: Five years after the GDPR, Gafam spared by the Irish CNIL

Paid subscription plans

This announcement comes as Meta just announced on Monday that it would now offer paid subscription plans to its European users who do not wish to see their data used. Internet users wishing to continue to use its services for free would thus be obliged to formally accept the collection of their data (which is required by the GDPR), which, according to Meta, would allow the group to respect its obligations in the EU.

“Meta has already announced that we will give citizens [européens] the opportunity to give consent and, in November, we will offer a subscription model to comply with regulatory requirements », reacted Wednesday a spokesperson for the American group in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse. “ The members of the EDPB had been aware of this project for weeks and we were already fully engaged alongside them to achieve a satisfactory result for all parties” and the decision announced Wednesday “unjustifiably ignores this careful and robust regulatory process”he regretted.

Last May, the American group was already the subject of a record fine of 1.2 billion euros from the Irish regulator, acting on behalf of the EU, for having violated the GDPR with its Facebook network. This is the fourth sanction imposed on Meta in the EU in six months.

Read also: Article reserved for our Meta subscribers: accessing Facebook or Instagram without targeted could become paying

The World with AFP

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