Meta announces the end of targeted advertising in Europe, you will soon no longer be tracked

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is significantly changing its privacy practices in the European Union. Here is everything that will change for your data.

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In an update to its user tracking policy, tech giant Meta announced its “intent” to comply with regional privacy regulations by giving users the ability to opt out of behavioral advertisinga practice that consists of tracking the online behavior of users in order to offer them targeted advertising.

Currently, Meta claims to serve micro-targeted ads on the legal basis of legitimate interest. However, the company is under regulatory scrutiny over this and now seems change its approach to targeted advertising, at least for users based in Europe.

Meta will change its rules on targeted advertising

Meta revealed plans to move to a consent-based legal basis for targeted advertising. This means that users will soon have the option to opt out of behavioral advertising, i.e. all targeted ads that arise from user tracking.

The move follows an emergency intervention by Norway’s data protection authority, which temporarily banned Meta from running behavioral advertising in the country without users’ consent. It also responds to changing regulatory requirements in the region, particularly with regard to the interpretation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU’s leading data protection regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Facebook tracking

With these changes, Meta anticipates the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act (DMA)which will impose new rules on data processing for behavioral ads.

Meta notes that advertisers will still be able to run personalized advertising campaigns in order to reach potential customers and grow their business, but users who opt out of tracking should not be impacted by these targeted ads.

You will no longer be tracked without your consent

Privacy advocates, who have been advocating for this change for years, are cautiously optimistic. Max Schrems, a privacy activist who filed the original coerced consent lawsuit against Meta in 2018, warned that he would closely monitor how the company implements choice. In particular, he underlined the importance of applying the consent requirement to all personal data processing for advertising targeting, and not only to highly personalized or behavioral advertising.

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Although it took several years for regulators to force the company to reform its privacy-hostile business model, the fact that it finally happened is seen as a major victory for privacy rights in the EU.

According to several analysts, the primary reason Meta has opposed using a consent legal basis for data collection in the past is thatit’s too easy for app users to opt out. Indeed, when Apple started asking iPhone users to consent to apps collecting data in 2021, many users opted out, and Meta’s ad revenue was hit hard by the loss of data. access to a large part of third-party data.

The blog post does not indicate a specific date for the implementation of this change, and happy to mention “the coming months”. The exact timing will likely be determined by EU regulators.

Note that the option to opt out of tracking will not be offered to users located outside of the EU, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Only users in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will have this option. Until the changes are applied, we remind you that you can already ask Meta not to track you.

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