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.”

  • @pearsaltchocolatebar
    link
    -223 months ago

    I honestly don’t understand how what Facebook is doing a bad thing. The deal has always been that targeted advertising is how you pay for a free service.

    This isn’t exclusive to Facebook.

    Offering an ad free experience for a subscription fee is an extremely common practice. Do people really expect to be able to use an entertainment platform for free?

    • lemmyreader
      link
      fedilink
      English
      323 months ago

      The deal has always been that targeted advertising is how you pay for a free service.

      Always is a heck of a long time. Decades ago when ads on websites slowly became popular it was just ads. But no personalized targeting.

      This isn’t exclusive to Facebook.

      Offering an ad free experience for a subscription fee is an extremely common practice. Do people really expect to be able to use an entertainment platform for free?

      Extremely common practice does not make it good nor does it make it a good reason to normalize or ignore these things. For example exploitation in labor and in housing is also extremely common practice. No reason to make exploitation on the Internet seem like a fair game and expand it further. Sustainability should be a key word here in my point of view.

    • @themurphy@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      143 months ago

      It’s bad because the subscription fee is ridiculous high compared, and only for one reason.

      And that’s getting you to consent, because comprehensive data is worth more for them.

      Also, the whole point is to give back users the right to their data. They don’t take away Facebooks right to show ads.

      Selling personal data is not equal showing ads.

      • @pearsaltchocolatebar
        link
        -53 months ago

        I guess you didn’t read the article, then. This isn’t about them selling the data they gathered, only about letting you pay for an ad free experience.

        • @ShortN0te@lemmy.ml
          link
          fedilink
          93 months ago

          No this is also not correct. Paying for an ad free experience still seems to be valid.

          What was ruled here is, that it is not considered a free choice to choose between paying money or paying with your data to access the service.

          According to the EU law the user consents to harvest the digital data must be freely given.

    • @ramble81@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      143 months ago

      I think there’s a difference between “generic ads we show you to support our platform” and “we’re selling your data to other people to give us revenue, so you have to offset that loss”. The latter involves your privacy around data which is the target.

      • Gilberto
        link
        fedilink
        23 months ago

        Yes, the nuance is that Facebook must offer an alternative that does not use personal data, even if it means losing some of the features compared to when you pay (either with money or authorizing them to sell your data).

    • @maynarkh@feddit.nl
      link
      fedilink
      133 months ago

      They aren’t attacking the business model, they are specifically attacking Facebook because it is distorting the market and destroying competition.

      This isn’t exclusive to Facebook.

      But this rule is all but exclusive to companies that are so big they are operating in a non-competitive market as defined by new EU regulations. Companies can still do it, Facebook and five others can’t. If your platform gets so big that people can’t find alternatives easily, you get on the list, and you can’t do that any more either.

      Offering an ad free experience for a subscription fee is an extremely common practice. Do people really expect to be able to use an entertainment platform for free?

      There is no requirement on Facebook to offer a free service. They can ask for as much money they want or not ask for money. They just can’t make data harvesting mandatory for any customers. This is not a judgment of the business model, this is just acknowledging that some platforms have become so big that you can’t live your life without them, so their interest to free commerce and self-determination is secondary to the basic right to privacy that all EU citizens have.

        • @fluckx@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          53 months ago

          I know people who lived without Facebook for years who created an account just to get info from their kids’ sports clubs. A lot of them only post data about events and stuff on the Facebook page. No newsletters or anything. Just Facebook.

          They don’t really have a choice. You don’t want to ask other parents all the time and they won’t send you an email specifically because you won’t create a profile.

          I fully agree with your statement. But in the case above the only alternative is to either annoy other parents every week, not send your kids to scouts camp with all their friends, or just create the profile and only look at those pages.

          A lot of clubs removed their website in favour of a private Facebook page. It’s unfortunate, but a reality. :(

        • gregorum
          link
          fedilink
          English
          43 months ago

          I have been for years. It was a massive improvement when I deleted my Facebook account.

          • @pearsaltchocolatebar
            link
            13 months ago

            Likewise. I only still have it for our neighborhood group chat and occasionally marketplace, but that’s maybe a twice a year thing.

        • @maynarkh@feddit.nl
          link
          fedilink
          43 months ago

          The point is, not everyone can. Some businesses only have Facebook pages as their online presence. The network effects, especially in the older generations, are still very strong.

          The EU had to draw the line somewhere. Facebook is over that line with the amount of people still on there.

          • @pearsaltchocolatebar
            link
            13 months ago

            You’re also free to not give business to places that only have Facebook pages as their online presence.

            Facebook is not a necessity. Full stop.

            • @maynarkh@feddit.nl
              link
              fedilink
              33 months ago

              I think you don’t understand the issue. The problem is not whether you can get around using Facebook in your life, the problem is whether people in general will get around using it. The numbers show they won’t, so they need to be regulated in order to protect free markets.

    • @RobotToaster@mander.xyz
      link
      fedilink
      133 months ago

      The deal has always been that targeted advertising is how you pay for a free service.

      FTFY.

      The adverts on free websites for a very long time were not targeted.

      • @pearsaltchocolatebar
        link
        -83 months ago

        Yes, they were except for the very early days of the internet.

        They might not have been as targeted, but they still absolutely used whatever data they had available to serve ads to people most likely to click on them.

    • @ShortN0te@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      103 months ago

      Do people really expect to be able to use an entertainment platform for free?

      No. If facebook wants, it can make the subscription mandatory, so only ppl who pay may access their service.

    • @shrugal@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      8
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      From what I understand the GDPR says you have to give users a real choice about the usage of their data, without any unreasonable negative repercussions. Having to pay money (at least as much as they are asking for) is such an unacceptable repercussion, no matter how FB might phrase it.

      They are allowed to take money or show ads for access, but they can’t couple that decision with the one about the user’s data usage.

      • @pearsaltchocolatebar
        link
        -33 months ago

        How is it unacceptable? Facebook has no onus to offer their services free of charge, and nobody is required to use Facebook.

        Your options would be pay for it with cash, pay for it with advertising, or don’t use the service.

        It seems like the EU is trying to say Facebook is a necessary service, which is bogus.

        • @shrugal@lemm.ee
          link
          fedilink
          4
          edit-2
          3 months ago

          pay for it with advertising your data

          FTFY.

          That part is not allowed according to the GDPR afaik, the decision about your personal data cannot be artificially linked to something else. They can absolutely show ads, but without using your data.

    • @Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      23 months ago

      Yeah I’m the most neurotic adblocker I know but I have zero issue with how they’re dealing with it. I didn’t even have an issue with before the option to pay to remove ads - I just didn’t use their app then, same as with YouTube.

      I like free stuff just as much as the other guy but no amount of mental gymnastics helps me understand the logic that these big companies should be handing out these services for free.

      • @pearsaltchocolatebar
        link
        13 months ago

        It seems like people belive that using Meta services is a right or something. I chose not to, and it only improved my life.

        It’s surprisingly similar to addicts trying to justify their habit.