Irish Authorities Fine Facebook $414 Million for Compelling Users to Accept Targeted Advertisements

Meta Platforms was fined €390 million (approximately $414 million) by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for its handling of user data for serving personalized advertisements, which could be a major blow to its ad-driven business model.

In this regard, the privacy regulator has ordered Meta Ireland to pay two fines: €210 million ($222.5 million) for violating the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) about Facebook, and €180 million ($191 million) for similar violations in Instagram.

The most recent enforcement comes after concerns that the social media company used its Terms of Service to coerce users into allowing targeted advertising based on their online activity. The complaints were filed on May 25, 2018, the effective date of GDPR in the region.

It also comes one month after the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), an independent body that oversees the consistent application of GDPR in the European Union, announced that it had reached legally binding decisions on the matter.

Meta can no longer rely on contracts – i.e., acceptance of its Terms of Service – as a legal basis for processing personal data for behavioral advertising, effectively rendering the company’s advertising practices unlawful.

The DPC stated, “Meta Ireland is not entitled to rely on the ‘contract’ legal basis about the delivery of behavioral advertising as part of its Facebook and Instagram services, and that it’s the processing of users’ data to date, in purported reliance on the ‘contract’ legal basis, constitutes a breach of Article 6 of the GDPR.”

Meta has argued that customizing advertisements based on information about users’ online behavior is a necessary component of the personalized service it provides. However, the company has three months to bring its data processing practices into compliance.

“Instead of having a ‘yes/no’ option for personalized ads, they simply relocated the consent clause in the terms and conditions,” Max Schrems of NOYB, whose privacy non-profit originally filed the complaint against Meta, said. Not only is this unfair, but it is also clearly illegal.

Meta, which has already experienced a decline in ad revenue in part due to Apple’s privacy changes in iOS last year that require apps to ask permission before tracking users, stated that it was “disappointed” by the decision and that it “strongly” believes that its approach complies with GDPR. The company intends to appeal the findings of the DPC.

Importantly, these decisions do not prevent personalized advertising on our platform, the company emphasized. “The decisions pertain only to the legal basis upon which Meta offers specific advertisements,”

The tech giant characterized as “incorrect” the suggestion that it can no longer offer personalized advertisements to European users without their opt-in consent, citing a lack of regulatory clarity on the matter.

Last year, Meta was hit with a slew of privacy-related fines in Europe and the United States. Late in December 2022, the company also agreed to pay $725 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused it of providing unauthorized access to user data by third parties.

The class action lawsuit was initiated in 2018 after Facebook disclosed that the data of 87 million users was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that used the harvested data to inform political campaigns.

CNIL issues an €8 million fine against Apple

In a related development, France’s privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL), has fined Apple €8 million for failing to obtain iPhone users’ consent before using identifiers to display targeted advertisements in iOS 14.6, as mandated by French law.

“Additionally, the user was required to perform a large number of actions to disable this setting, as this option was not integrated into the phone’s initialization path,” the agency explained.

Apple stated that it intends to appeal the case, noting that it gives users “a clear option as to whether or not they want personalized advertisements.” Additionally, it was stated that the service utilizes only first-party data.

Why Trust Us?

Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

Related Stories

  • All Post
  • Best Picks
  • Explainers
  • How To
  • News
  • Versus
Malware GuLoader Using New Methods to Avoid Security Software

December 26, 2022

Researchers in cyber security have uncovered a vast array of techniques used by the advanced malware downloader GuLoader to circumvent security software. “New shellcode anti-analysis technique attempts to thwart researchers and hostile environments by scanning entire process memory for any…

Get more info

Deals

Reviews

Best Products

Buying Guides

Contact Us

About Us

We provide a platform for our customers to rate and review services and products, as well as the stores that sell them. We research and compare the most popular brands and models before narrowing it down to the top ten, providing you with the most comprehensive and reliable buying advice to help you make your decision.

Disclaimer

BestTopReviewsOnline.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Address & Map

20 S Santa Cruz Ave, Suite 300, Los Gatos, CA 95030, United States

© 2022 BestTopReviewsOnline.com Pty. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Licensing: All third-party trademarks, images, and copyrights used on this page are for comparative advertising, criticism, or review. As this is a public forum where users can express their opinions on specific products and businesses, the opinions expressed do not reflect those of BestTopReviewsOnline.com.