02 July 2024NewsroomDigital Regulation / Tech News

Meta privacy

Meta’s decision to offer an ad-free subscription in the European Union (EU) suffered a fresh setback after regulators accused the social media of forcing users to choose between paying to watch or avoid ads. Violating the bloc’s competition rules by forcing a choice.

The European Commission said the company’s “pay or consent” advertising model is against the Digital Markets Act.DMA).

“This binary choice forces users to consent to the combination of their personal data and fails to provide them with a less personal but equal version of Meta’s social networks,” the commission said. said.

It also noted that companies in gatekeeper roles must obtain users’ consent to combine their personal data between designated core platform services and other services (eg, advertising) and users who refuse to opt-in. They should have access to less personal but equal alternatives.

Cyber ​​security

On top of that, Meta’s approach doesn’t allow users to choose a service that uses less of their personal data, saying it doesn’t allow users to freely exercise their right to consent. use to combine data from their services to target them with personalized online. Advertisements, the commission said.

“Users who do not consent should still have access to an equivalent service that uses less of their personal data, in this case to personalize advertising,” it added. said

Meta First announced It plans to introduce an ad-free option to access Facebook and Instagram for users in the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland in October 2023, with ways to comply with stricter privacy laws in the region. As.

But in the intervening months, the American tech company has Criticism was faced Instead of essentially offering users no real choice to choose from, forcing them to consent to tracking for advertising purposes or paying monthly to avoid seeing personalized ads altogether.

“European users now have the ‘choice’ to either consent to being tracked for personalized advertising – or pay €251.88 a year to maintain their fundamental right to data protection on Instagram and Facebook,” Austrian privacy non-profit noyb said at the end of last year.

“Not only is the cost unacceptable, but industry data shows that only 3 percent of people want to be tracked — while more than 99 percent decide against paying when faced with a ‘privacy fee’.”

Cyber ​​security

If the preliminary findings are confirmed, Meta could be fined up to 10% of its total worldwide turnover, a figure that could rise to 20% for systematic violations of the rules.

“The ad-free subscription follows the directive of Europe’s highest court and complies with the DMA,” Meta said in a statement. Statement Shared with the Associated Press. He added that he would engage in “constructive dialogue” with the commission as part of the investigation.

The development takes place according to the Norwegian court. Confirmed Online dating app Grindr violated GDPR data protection laws in the EU by sharing user data with advertisers, prompting it to pay a fine of €5.7 million ($6.1 million).

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