Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, risks a ban in the European Community on using personal data for targeted advertising. These personalized advertisements are contrary to European privacy rules.
The European privacy regulator has this; the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) decides. Meta is given two weeks to take measures. Meta itself claims that the efforts made are not taken into account enough.
In August, Norway imposed a fine on Meta of one million kronor per day, equivalent to almost 85,000 euros, for collecting data from Norwegian users for personal advertisements. Norway subsequently initiated a procedure for the European ban.
That ban is now one step closer. The Irish regulator – Meta is based in Ireland – has now been given two weeks by the EDPB to take measures to ensure that social media comply with the ban.
Facebook and Instagram collect all kinds of user data, such as place of residence, age, education and hobbies. The platforms also look at what kind of messages people look at. This way, the sites know what people are interested in. They can show very targeted advertisements, and advertisers are willing to pay a lot of money.
But regulators say Meta has “no valid legal basis” to process all that personal data. The possible ban comes as Meta announced it plans to launch an ad-free version for paid subscriptions. According to the company, this payment model would comply with the rules.
According to Meta, the supervisors ‘have been aware of this plan for weeks’ and are working together ‘to achieve a satisfactory result for everyone’. The planned ban “unfairly ignores that careful and robust regulatory process,” Meta added.