The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has agreed to expand the ban on "behavioral," or targeted advertising in Facebook and Instagram, initially imposed by Norway, a non-European Union member, to encompass all 30 countries within the European Union and the European Economic Area, as reported by Reuters.
This restriction on advertising, which tailors content to individual users through data collection, represents a significant blow to the American tech giant Meta Platforms, the parent company of the two largest social media services.
The EDPB's decision effectively serves as a directive for the relevant regulator in Ireland, where Meta's European headquarters are based. The Irish regulator is tasked with enforcing a permanent ban on the company's use of targeted advertising within two weeks, according to the EDPB statement.
In response, Meta has already announced plans to allow users in the European Union and the European Economic Area to provide consent for the appearance of such advertising. The company is set to introduce a subscription model in November to comply with regulatory requirements. A company spokesperson stated, "EDPB members have been informed of this plan for several weeks, and we have already engaged in a dialogue with them to reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties."
Since August 7, Meta has been facing daily fines of 1 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately $90,000) in Norway for violating user privacy by using their data, such as location or online behavior, for advertising purposes. Norway has also threatened the company with turnover-based fines of up to 4% of its annual global revenue.
If the ban ultimately takes effect, it is estimated that the decision will impact approximately 250 million Facebook and Instagram users in Europe, according to Datatilsynet's data.