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Meta will allow EU citizens to opt out of behavioural advertising

Facebook owner Meta has made a massive concession to regulators in the European Union over its behavioural advertising.

user icon David Hollingworth
Thu, 03 Aug 2023
Meta will allow EU citizens to opt out of behavioural advertising
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Meta has said it will soon allow EU citizens, as well as those of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, to opt out of the company’s personalised advertising.

In a blog post earlier this week, Meta cited “evolving and emerging regulatory requirements in the region”, particularly in light of how the EU’s data protection regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commission, has been interpreting some recent advice and rulings with regard to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“Historically, businesses operating in this region have relied on a variety of legal bases under GDPR for the purpose of processing data for advertising,” Meta said in its post. “GDPR states that there is no hierarchy between legal bases, and none should be considered more valid than any other. However, we have listened carefully to regulatory feedback from the Irish DPC, including how it is interpreting recent decisions by the European Court of Justice, in deciding to make this change.”

Meta has given no time frame other than “the months ahead”. The company also said that advertisers will still be free to run personalised campaigns for those who have opted in.

The move comes more than six months after the Irish Data Protection Commissioner slapped Meta with a massive fine. The DPC found that two of Meta’s subsidiaries were guilty of GDPR breaches. On top of a €210 million fine for Facebook and a €180 million fine for Instagram, Meta was directed to conform to European regulations within three months.

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