Meta, Others Online Platforms Should Give Users Free Option Without Targeted Ads, Says EU Privacy Watchdog


Meta Platform and other big online platforms must offer users the option to use their services for free without targeted advertising, the EU privacy watchdog said on Wednesday, responding to the company's paid ad-free service, which has triggered criticism. Has given.

The US tech giant launched a no-ads subscription service for Facebook and Instagram in Europe last November, saying users who consent to being tracked get a free service that is funded by advertising revenue. it occurs.

Privacy activists and consumer groups say such practices could encourage other companies to do the same. National privacy regulators in the Netherlands, Norway and Germany subsequently asked the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for an opinion on the legality of such consent.

“If controllers choose to charge for access to an 'equivalent option', they should give significant consideration to offering an additional option. This free option should be without practical advertising,” the EDPB said in a statement.

It added that an example could be a form of advertising where little or no personal data is included.

The watchdog said the third option was important because when most users are asked to choose between paying for an ad-free service or agreeing to be tracked in exchange for a free service funded by advertising revenue, they Don't fully understand the implications of your choices.

It says companies offering just one binary option to users may breach the requirements of valid consent under EU privacy rules.

The US tech giant had earlier on Wednesday referred to its previous blogs, saying 'subscription without ads' is in line with an EU court ruling that prohibits people from consenting to data processing for targeted advertising. supports such models as a way of giving.

Max Schrems, president of the advocacy group NOYB, said in a statement, “We welcome that the EDPB has started a more nuanced discussion on 'pay or OK' and at least made it clear that the big platforms have a say in 'pay or OK'. Can't use.” Paying for privacy or consenting to data collection.

Politico first reported the EDPB's opinion.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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