EDPB's view on Meta forcing users to pay for data protection

Thursday 18 April 2024 10:59 CET | News

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has announced that online platforms, including Meta, should not require users to pay for data privacy for ad-free subscriptions.  

As per the information provided in a statement from the EDPB’s officials, Meta, as well as other online platforms, should not impose payments for data protection when providing ad-free subscriptions. The regulator mentioned that online platforms should offer users a real choice when employing ‘consent or pay’ models, with the current ones usually requiring them to either give away all their data or pay. This leads to individuals consenting to the processing to leverage a service, while not understanding the full implications of their choices.

The EDPB has announced that online platforms, including Meta, should not require users to pay for data privacy for ad-free subscriptions.

Meta’s moves on data privacy

In November 2023, Meta introduced a ‘pay or consent’ system enabling individuals to refuse the use of their data for ad targeting in exchange for a monthly fee. The model has been challenged by privacy and consumer advocates, as Meta previously profited from selling user data to advertisers. The current announcement follows data protection authorities from the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany going to the EDPB to require its opinion on the ‘pay or consent’ model imposed by Meta. In a court ruling from 2023, Meta pointed out that the move allows subscriptions to become a legally valid option, while, after the EDBP’s current statement, officials from the company stated that the regulator’s opinion does not alter that judgement and subscription for no ads complies with the EU laws. At that time, regulators stated that the subscription model was a legally valid method for companies to seek individuals’ consent for tailored advertising.

Furthermore, at the moment, the data privacy regulator from Ireland, where Meta is headquartered, is deciding on the company’s model, with its ruling to be announced. Considering that all digital platforms must comply with the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), the EDPB argues that Meta’s model does not follow this requirement, as consent for data use must be freely provided. Additionally, the regulator mentioned in its statement that online platforms should consider an alternative to this model that can provide users with the right to reject being tracked for advertising purposes without being required to pay.

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Keywords: GDPR, data privacy, regulation, data protection, data analytics
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: Meta
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime


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