The EU’s Data Protection Board (EDPB) has told large online platforms they should not offer users a binary choice between paying for a service and consenting to their personal data being used to provide targeted advertising.

In October last year, the social media giant said it would be possible to pay Meta to stop Instagram or Facebook feeds of personalized ads and prevent it from using personal data for marketing for users in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. Meta then announced a subscription model of €9.99/month on the web or €12.99/month on iOS and Android for users who did not want their personal data used for targeted advertising.

At the time, Felix Mikolasch, data protection lawyer at noyb, said: “EU law requires that consent is the genuine free will of the user. Contrary to this law, Meta charges a ‘privacy fee’ of up to €250 per year if anyone dares to exercise their fundamental right to data protection.”

  • DdCno1
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    1162 months ago

    Very interesting. Lots of news websites are operating on a very similar principle, with the user having to either accept all cookies or pay for an expensive subscription that allows them to opt out of tracking cookies. I’ve always thought that this couldn’t possibly be legal.

    • manucode
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      422 months ago

      If they just charged you for not showing you ads, that might be an alternative solution for monetisation, rather than the current model of charging you for not accepting cookies.

    • @misk
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      92 months ago

      Media are paywalling content but Facebook doesn’t really produce anything other than their platform.

  • FiveMacs
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    732 months ago

    Stop telling these companies. Send them a fine, and cease and desist. That’s is. They know, they don’t care. Just charge them until they comply

    • @BearGun@ttrpg.network
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      182 months ago

      I mean yea, they will if the asshats continue. But it has to happen completely by the letter of the law, or they can protest and at the very least draw it out, if not just get out of it completely.

  • @cosmicrookie@lemmy.world
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    462 months ago

    Too bad that i left its platforms due to it.

    That said, i dont expect this to be their last exploit of user rights.

    Its actually fairly fast reaction from EU considering they ok introduced their pay or ok model in November.

    I dont believe that paying really was a viable option anyway, as they set the price so high but it could be interesting to see how many actually chose to pay!

    • @designated_fridge@lemmy.world
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      252 months ago

      I was close to it. I’m an advocate for paying for services I use. We’re way too used to getting everything for free and we should be willing to pay for services we appreciate.

      Which made me realise that Facebook especially I don’t appreciate. So I quit instead. It had value to me once but those times are long gone.

      • @lens17@feddit.de
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        112 months ago

        What bugged me and ultimately drove me to leave Instagram was the wording. In the prompt, they said something along the lines of “we will not use your data for advertising”. And I thought, wtf, I don’t want you to collect my data in the first place.

        • @elvith@feddit.de
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          92 months ago

          I read it as “no, we won’t use your data for advertising, but collect it anyways. If you ever dare to stop paying, we’ll retroactively process this data, too”

          • @overload
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            52 months ago

            Therein lies the uselessness of the subscription. It doesn’t guarantee privacy, only that they won’t abuse it while your subscription is active.

      • @cosmicrookie@lemmy.world
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        72 months ago

        It had value to me too. I lost a lot of my online social life due to it. I honestly also considered paying but not the ridiculously high price that they were asking. Further more, paying would not stop them from tracking me and it would still have them show me recommended content. Its only the actual ads that you get rid of, but you’d still be seeing recommended commercial content from pages that META thinks suit your purchasing pattern.

      • nickwitha_k (he/him)
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        22 months ago

        I was close to it. I’m an advocate for paying for services I use.

        Agreed.

        We’re way too used to getting everything for free and we should be willing to pay for services we appreciate.

        I’d argue that this is partly due to the continued decrease in real wealth experienced by a large amount of the population. Companies want to keep making more profits when people have less relative wealth. So, the data harvesting is making up for that, making it just that much worse for the lot of us.

    • @themurphy@lemmy.ml
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      32 months ago

      Comprehensive data is worth more for Meta, so my guess would be that the price model only existed to get users to consent.

      Still interesting to see the numbers, yeah.

  • @Plopp@lemmy.world
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    432 months ago

    I mean tracking exists because advertisers pay more for targeted ads, based on the tracking. I’d rather prefer it if the EU just made tracking illegal. Deal with the problem at its root.

    Also maybe ban ads that track clicking on them (to then give a bigger payout). Advertisers should pay for simply showing me the ad and putting their brand/product in my brain.
    And if we remove the option for targeted ads based on user tracking, the price for plain and simple old school ads might rise again, which is a very good thing for websites and users.

    • @Blackmist@feddit.uk
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      202 months ago

      We have to be real here, that nobody has ever really consented to being tracked in the way these giant sites do it. Nobody has looked at that form and gone “I’m perfectly OK with 1698 different advertising agencies knowing my real name and interests, every time I’m online”

      They go “yeah, whatever, get that popup the fuck out of my face so I can read this fascinating article about some 19 year-old pop star’s boob job”.

      Part of it should be legislation. Another part should be browsers rendering fingerprinting to be completely ineffective.

    • Karyoplasma
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      102 months ago

      Opinion: “Personalized ads” are a ruse and don’t actually work better than regular ads. They only have a higher click-through rate because they are more often disguised as normal content on the platform and people are simply being tricked into clicking on them.

  • @itsralC@lemm.ee
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    102 months ago

    Until a court rules in favour of this no one will budge as this is just an opinion. I do hope it comes to that as since Spain ruled that charging for not planting cookies was a okay browsing news sites has been miserable.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    62 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    It followed requests by the Dutch, Norwegian, and Hamburg Data Protection Authorities and complaints about Meta, the social media company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

    “Most users consent to the processing in order to use a service, and they do not understand the full implications of their choices,” EDPB chair Anu Talus said in a statement.

    But a Meta spokesperson said: "Last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the subscriptions model is a legally valid way for companies to seek people’s consent for personalized advertising.

    In November last year, privacy activist group noyb (None Of Your Business) filed a complaint with the Austrian data protection authority against Meta for introducing the subscription model.

    At the time, Felix Mikolasch, data protection lawyer at noyb, said: "EU law requires that consent is the genuine free will of the user.

    In February, consumer groups filed their own complaint to stop Meta giving EU users a “fake choice” between the subscription offer and consenting to being profiled and tracked via data collection.


    The original article contains 556 words, the summary contains 174 words. Saved 69%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • @unphazed@lemmy.world
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    12 months ago

    Serious question to Europeans: “How the hell did you get a group of people to actually give two fucks about you?” Seriously, here in the US even my goddamn local BOE is doing shady greedy shit. It’s all fucking corrupting so fast and without even a semblance of shame or privacy.

  • @IsThisAnAI@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    The EU is clueless. They think they are going to bypass the advertising model and that users are going to pay hundreds of dollars for all the services. They will continue to fall behind the US and China and they don’t have a plan. There is going to be backlash when news organization pull out just like Canada.

    • @misk
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      502 months ago

      Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, worrying that I don’t see as many ads as the Yanks do.

        • @misk
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          282 months ago

          Oh no, not the Facebook! I can’t even imagine the world without all the good that it does!

        • @Undaunted@feddit.de
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          42 months ago

          What services do you think are worth letting them violate my rights to my personal information?

          • @IsThisAnAI@lemmy.world
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            02 months ago

            Plenty. I don’t want to pay full price. YT, TikTok, and insta are great. I use sheets/docs for some minor personal stuff too.

        • gian
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          12 months ago

          Are you so deluded to think that there are no other service provider in EU ?

          • @IsThisAnAI@lemmy.world
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            12 months ago

            What’s going to replace YT? Or insta? You going to go door to door to have everyone convert to signal?

            • gian
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              12 months ago

              What’s going to replace YT? Or insta?

              Maybe nothing in the short term, but it is not that improbable that something will emerge. YT and insta are here just because they were the first, not that it is clear that there is a market (or a use for these kind of services), once you remove the one who don’t follow the laws, other will emerge.

        • rutellthesinful
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          92 months ago

          what scenario are you imagining where any of meta’s product offerings are useful to me?

        • @towerful@programming.dev
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          82 months ago

          I always thought Facebook was useful to me. Until one day I decided to stop. A week later I deleted my account.
          Turns out Facebook wasn’t useful to me.
          And I can’t see a future where it will be.

          WhatsApp is currently useful to me.
          And considering EUs current ruling, I imagine there will be WhatsApp compatible apps soon. Besides, if meta leaves the EU, everyone will move to telegram or signal or whatever.

          So no, I don’t think it will be useful to me one day. And I’d be quite happy to see it go