The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) released the findings of two Meta investigations on Wednesday. Accordingly, Meta, which owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram, has to pay €210 million (in relation to Facebook) and €180 million (in relation to Instagram) in Ireland for violating the EU’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
A spokeswoman for Meta confirmed to the APA that the decision bans non-personal ads on the platform. “These options do not prevent targeted or personalized ads on our platform. These options only address the legal basis that Meta uses to serve certain ads. Advertisers may continue to use our platforms to reach potential customers, grow their business and enter new markets that are being created,” the spokeswoman said. meta. The group complained about the lack of regulatory clarity on the matter. Meta has a very different opinion of DPC and also believes it is fully in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
On the other hand, data protection officer Schrems spoke of “a heavy blow to Meta’s business model in Europe”. The decision relates to three complaints from the “noyb” data protection NGO from 2018. Meta, which also owns the social network Instagram and the news service WhatsApp, must therefore in the future provide users with a “yes/no” option to personalized, persuasive ads.
Instead of having a yes/no option for personalized ads, they just moved the opt-in clause into the terms and conditions. Not only is that unfair, it’s clearly illegal. We’re not aware of any other company that has tried to enforce GDPR on this. “In an arrogant way,” explained the founder of Noyeb Shrems.
The EDPB overturned an earlier draft decision by Ireland’s Data Protection Authority (DPC), which had ruled that Meta’s circumvention of the GDPR was legal. According to noyb, the decision does not prohibit other forms of advertising (such as contextual ads based on page content). However, everyone should now be able to use the apps without personalized ads.
“This is a serious blow to the profits of Meta in the European Union,” concludes Sharmus. The decision ensures a level playing field with other advertisers who also have to obtain user consent.
Noyeb expects Meta to appeal the decision in the Irish courts, but the chances of winning that appeal are considered slim following a binding decision by the EDPB. Users can then also take action against illegal use of their data in the last 4.5 years.
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