EU turns against Meta subscriptions and prepares to ban data collection

EU turns against Meta subscriptions and prepares to ban data collection

The EU has held an emergency consultation on Meta’s advertising policies and subscriptions. This has been scrutinized for the data collection of sensitive personal data, which is prohibited under the GDPR.

The ban extends a previous decision by Norway’s data protection authority. Since Norway is not part of the European Union, the EU has ordered the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) to convert this ban. The authority is given a maximum of 14 days to get the ban in place.

Meta’s subscription model gets a response

Meta announced earlier this week that it was making a subscription available to Europe. This would allow paid Meta users to use Facebook and Instagram ad-free while other users pay with their privacy. We argue this since both social media platforms show ads based on personal data and interests. In terms of the GDPR, this is considered a privacy violation, and consequently, the practices are prohibited within the EU.

Tip: We provide an overview of the events that led to Meta’s introduction of subscriptions in this article: Platforms from Meta are ad-free for those who pay: creative with the law?

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) is now taking a disapproving stance on the introduced subscriptions, stating a ban within the entire European Economic Area appears necessary. “Already in December 2022, the binding decisions of the EDPB clarified that a contract is not an appropriate legal basis for the processing of personal data by Meta for behavioral advertising,” states Anu Talus, chairman of the EDPB.

Consequently, the EU chose to comply with Norway’s request for a Europe-wide ban.