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Facebook will need permission to show personalized ads in the EU

Meta will have to limit the reach of its personalized ads in the European Union. The region’s Court of Justice has ruled that Meta’s Facebook brand will need to obtain consent before delivering at least some personalized ads in the EU. The custom ads “cannot justify” processing that volume of data without users’ permission, according to the ruling.

We’ve asked Meta for comment. In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson said the social media giant was still “evaluating the court’s decision” and would say more in the future.

Meta is already appealing a €390 million EU fine (now worth about $425 million) for requiring that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users accept personalized ads just to use those platforms. The governing body requires “freely given” consent for features, and believes Meta violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by asking for ad targeting data just to use Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on a basic level. In the new ruling, the Court of Justice said it was up to a site operator to prove that people willingly give permission.

The decision is included in a larger court finding that local competition regulators, such as Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, can factor in compliance with other laws (such as the GDPR) when investigating antitrust cases. Put simply, a country could decide that rule breaking in one area is evidence of broader anti-competitive behavior.

The ruling is somewhat vague, and it’s not clear just how officials will interpret the requirement in practice. Meta might have to ask permission to provide personalized ads on Facebook and other platforms. That could improve privacy for users, but affect the company’s bottom line. The outfit warned of a hit to its ad revenue when iOS 14 gave users the ability to reject ad tracking in apps — this could represent another blow that affects everyone in the EU, regardless of the device they use.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/facebook-will-need-permission-to-show-personalized-ads-in-the-eu-140106138.html?src=rss

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