The European data regulator has announced on Wednesday that it is extending a ban, which was initially imposed by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (NO DPA) on the processing of personal data for behavioural advertising on Facebook and Instagram, to cover all 30 countries in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA).
On 27th October, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) issued an urgent binding decision directing the Irish Data Protection Authority (IE DPA) to take final actions against Meta Ireland Limited (Meta IE) within two weeks.
The IE DPA, as the lead supervisory authority (LSA), was instructed to impose a ban on the processing of personal data for behavioural advertising throughout the European Economic Area (EEA) based on contract and legitimate interest.
According to the EDPB, the ban on processing will become effective one week after the notification of the final measures by the IE SA to the controller.
The Irish DPC has notified Meta on 31/10 about the EDPB Urgent Binding Decision.
EDPB Chair Anu Talus says, “After careful consideration, the EDPB considered it necessary to instruct the IE SA to impose an EEA-wide processing ban, addressed to Meta IE. Already in December 2022, the EDPB Binding Decisions clarified that contract is not a suitable legal basis for the processing of personal data carried out by Meta for behavioural advertising. In addition, Meta has been found by the IE SA to not have demonstrated compliance with the orders imposed at the end of last year. It is high time for Meta to bring its processing into compliance and to stop unlawful processing.”
Introduces subscription model
To comply with European regulations, Meta has introduced a new subscription option in the EU, EEA and Switzerland.
Starting from November, residents (aged 18 and above), of these areas who use Facebook or Instagram will have the choice to continue using these personalised services for free with ads, or subscribe to remove ads. While subscribed, user data will not be used for ads, says Meta.
Depending on the platform, the subscription will cost €9.99/month on the web or €12.99/month on iOS and Android.
The company also clarified that the subscription will apply to all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts in a user’s Accounts Center.
Until March 1, 2024, the initial subscription covers all linked accounts in a user’s Accounts Center. However, beginning March 1, 2024, an additional fee of €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android will apply for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center.
Meta supports an ad-supported internet for personalised services to all users, aiding small business growth and stimulating economic expansion.
In August, Meta announced its intention to switch to GDPR ‘Consent’ basis for processing user data in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland on their platforms for advertising purposes.
“We made that change to address a number of evolving and emerging regulatory requirements in the region. This includes how our lead data protection regulator in the EU, the Irish Data Protection Commission, is interpreting GDPR following a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and anticipating the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act (DMA),” says Meta.
Meta offers a subscription for an ad-free experience that aligns with European regulations and provides user choices.
This subscription model is recognised by the Court of Justice of the European Union as a valid form of consent for ad-funded services.
“Meanwhile, advertisers will be able to continue running personalised advertising campaigns in Europe to reach those who choose to continue to receive a free, ad-supported online service. Going forward, we will continue to invest to build new tools that preserve the value that both people and businesses get out of personalised advertising, while allowing users to control their ads experience on our platforms,” adds the company.