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Meta allows Europeans to opt out of data sharing

by on31 March 2023

No more personalised adverts for a lucky few

Meta announced that starting next Wednesday, some Facebook and Instagram users in the European Union can opt out of sharing first-party data used to serve highly personalised ads.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this would be a big change from Meta's current business model, where every video and piece of content clicked on its platforms provides a data point for its online advertisers.

Those in the know told the Journal that Facebook and Instagram users will access a form that can be submitted to Meta to object to sweeping data collection. If those requests are approved, those users will only allow Meta to target ads based on broader categories of data collection, like age range or general location.

This seems over-complicated and differs from Apple and Google, which prompt users to opt-in or out of highly personalised ads with the click of a button.

Instead, Meta will decide if your complaint is worthy of an opt-out and it is unclear what caused Meta may have to deny requests. Meta is universally acknowledged as being pants at reviewing anything and locking people in Facebook jail for no reason.

For some reason, Meta believes that this half-arsed concession will get the Irish regulator off its back. The Irish said that it was illegal in the EU for Meta to force Facebook and Instagram users to give consent to data collection when they signed contracts to use the platforms.

Meta still plans to appeal those Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) rulings, believing its prior contract's legal basis complies with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), although we really do not see how, or how Meta can believe this.

Meta announced it will argue that it does not need to directly obtain user consent because it has a "legitimate interest" in collecting data to operate its social platforms.

"We believe that our previous approach was compliant under GDPR, and our appeal on both the substance of the rulings and the fines continues," Meta's blog said. "However, this change ensures that we comply with the DPC's decision."


Last modified on 31 March 2023
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