Meta Faces European Ban on Data-Driven Advertising

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Meta Platforms, the parent company, behind Facebook and Instagram is facing an obstacle in the European Union. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has expanded a ban on “advertising” to cover all 30 EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries. This ban, initially enforced by non EU member Norway,  specifically targets advertising practices that involve collecting user data to personalise ads. For Meta, this development poses a challenge as they have been openly against any attempts to limit this type of advertising.

The ban primarily focuses on data driven advertising. This puts Meta at risk of fines up to 4% of their global turnover as stated by the Norwegian data regulator. The EDPBs decision instructs the data regulator (where Metas European headquarters are located) to enforce a ban on the company’s utilisation of behavioural advertising within two weeks.

To tackle the challenge Meta has made an announcement stating their intention to offer users in the EU and EEA the choice to give consent for data collection. In addition the company has plans to introduce a subscription model in November as part of their efforts to meet requirements.

Graham Doyle, Deputy Commissioner at the Irish Data Protection Commission mentioned that their focus is on evaluating Meta’s consent based model announced in August. This indicates that Meta no longer intends to rely on bases that have been questioned by regulators.

Meta’s response to the ban highlights their engagement in discussions and preparations with regulators over weeks. They see this development as disregarding their efforts in establishing a compliant regulatory process. The implications of this ban are extensive since it impacts around 250 million Facebook and Instagram users, across Europe. Moreover it aligns with Metas implementation of ad subscription plans, in Europe aimed at offering an alternative revenue stream to address obstacles. If you need any help with Meta platforms, contact the Grofuse team