Meta’s Ad Practices Deemed Illegal by EU

January 8, 2023
Meta Fined by EU

The EU has tagged the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp with a fine equal to $414 Million USD. Because Meta’s operations are based in Dublin the fine was imposed by the Irish Privacy Board. The board determined that Meta’s user consent form effectively forced data targeting upon anyone who opted to use Meta’s social media platforms. Instead of offering an “opt-out” option, Meta has made data targeting a condition of the use of Facebook and Instagram.  This, of course, is in clear violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In conjunction with payment of this fine, Meta has three months to detail how they plan to comply with the GDPR. No specifications have been made by the board.

Why We Care

Any changes Meta makes to their platforms to comply with European regulations will most likely affect how the platform operates in North America as well. Meta’s first-party data allows for precise audience segmentation and unique targeting options for social ads. There exists the potential for these changes to have a damaging effect on the robust nature of Meta’s data. Expect Meta to start work immediately on a potential solution to that problem. We will surely be watching.