EU ruling could change how Meta serves Facebook, Instagram ads
The days of targeted advertising are possibly nearing their end in Europe. At least, that's what an EU regulator's ruling on targeted ads by Facebook and Instagram suggests. Meta, the parent of Facebook and Instagram, has been asked to reassess the legal basis for targeted ads. The tech giant was also fined €390 million for violating the bloc's privacy laws.
Why does this story matter?
- On top of its ad revenue woes, Meta has another headache to deal with now. The once-friendly Irish regulators are gunning for Meta's head now and that has put the tech giant in a precarious position.
- The ruling may reduce personalized ads. However, it might result in more contextual ads as they are cheaper than targeted ads.
Irish regulator held that Meta violated GDPR
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), Meta's primary regulator in the EU, ruled that the company violated Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulator held that by requiring Facebook and Instagram users to accept its terms of service to gain access to the app and using that approval to process their personal data for targeted advertising, Meta violated GDPR provisions.
DPC gave Meta 3 months to comply with GDPR
It is compulsory for users to accept the terms of service of Facebook or Instagram to use the app. The DPC, in its ruling, held that this agree-or-get-lost policy of Meta is not in line with GDPR rules. The regulator gave Meta three months' time to bring its business in line with European data protection laws.
Meta said it will appeal the commission's decision
Meta responded passionately to the DPC ruling in a blog post. The company said, "we strongly believe our approach respects GDPR, and we're therefore disappointed by these decisions and intend to appeal both the substance of the rulings and the fines." The firm also assured users and businesses that they will continue to enjoy Meta's targeted advertising in the EU.
Personalized ads are part of social media services: Meta
In the blog post, Meta argued that Facebook and Instagram are inherently personalized platforms, which are tailor-made to provide personalized experiences to users. The company argued that providing behavioral ads is part of that service. Per Meta, regulators have failed to provide what constitutes an appropriate legal basis for data processing in Europe.