Facebook and Instagram users can (almost) not withdraw tracking consent

Facebook and Instagram users can (almost) not withdraw tracking consent

Meta’s tracking features are once again under scrutiny. Surprisingly, the complaint is issued againby the privacy advocacy organization noyb. That organization again addresses the Austrian regulator, while the previous complaint against Meta’s subscription models is still pending.

Noyb argues that Meta is failing to comply with European law by making it unnecessarily difficult for users to revoke once-given consent to tracking. The organization took the issue to the Austrian regulator, it reported today.

‘Once given stays given’

The problem has occurred since the introduction of Meta’s new subscription formulas. These formulas have already been sued by noyb and by the European Consumer Organization because they are based on the principle of ‘paying for privacy.’ The organizations object mainly to the high cost of these subscriptions.

So, the privacy advocacy organization is not leaving it at that initial complaint. It states that under the European GDPR, it is also prohibited to make it unnecessarily difficult for users to revoke data consent once again. According to noyb, giving consent requires just one click, while revoking consent is only possible ‘by going through the complicated process of switching to a paid subscription.’

Disagreement with the cost

“The law is clear: withdrawing consent should be as easy as giving it. It is painfully clear that paying €251.88 a year to withdraw consent is not as simple as clicking an “Okay” button to accept tracking,” said Massimiliano Gelmi, data protection lawyer at noyb.

Despite the different content of the complaint, some of it still revolves once again around the high cost of Meta’s subscriptions. The organization is asking the regulator to force Meta to simplify and make the revocation of consent free of charge. Furthermore, it wants to see Meta fined to prevent further violations against the GDPR. In our opinion, it will hit Meta harder once paid subscriptions are banned because this hits the company in the revenue source it gains from personalized ads.

Also read: Facebook and Instagram ad-free for those who pay: creative with the law?