According to reports on Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, privacy regulators in the European Union have decided that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, cannot continue giving up data for targeted ads a requirement of joining the social networks.
The choice has the potential to change the internet’s financial foundations and the business strategy of the dominant social media company.
How does Facebook Targeted Ads usually work?
When you sign up for Facebook or Instagram, you have to agree to the social networks’ digital surveillance for advertising by clicking past their privacy statement. You are not permitted to open an account if you disagree.
The General Data Protection Regulation, the EU’s comprehensive privacy law, is in violation when agreement is compelled, according to a board of privacy regulators in Europe that issued a number of new rulings on Monday.
The decision hasn’t been made public, but on Tuesday there were significant leaks to the media. Not just Meta would be impacted by the choice but every business that offers targeted advertising functions quite similarly to the dominant social media platform.
You can occasionally choose not to have information from other sections of the internet used for social media advertising, but the new law aims to restrict how much information companies can use that they gather on their own networks. It would fundamentally alter how online privacy operates.
How would this affect Social Media platforms?
According to Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, ” if it is upheld, would have a dramatic impact on Meta’s revenue in Europe, kneecapping its ability to use information about its users’ on-platform activities in order to sell targeted advertising.” However, we expect Meta to fight vigorously to defend its business, and it could be months, if not years, before any impact is truly felt.”
A request for comment regarding the decision was not immediately answered by Meta. The decision likely has a much greater impact than Meta. Many other businesses, including Google, TikTok, and smaller players, operate under a similar legal framework: accept targeted advertising or use a different platform. One of the pillars of internet commerce may be affected, but it is unclear how broadly the EU rule will apply across the continent.
The most important question is do you think this will be a good thing or a bad thing?