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Meta faces complaint over subscription model
Meta Dublin HQ Pic: RollingNews.ie

28 Nov 2023 / data law Print

Meta faces complaint over subscription model

Data-privacy group NYOB has filed a complaint against Meta with Austria’s data-protection authority over the social-media company’s plan to charge users for ad-free access to its platforms.

Meta has introduced the model in the EU and EEA, charging users a monthly fee to use Facebook and Instagram without advertising.

Users can also use the services for free, but with advertising.

‘Fundamental right’

“European users now have the ‘choice’ to either consent to being tracked for personalised advertising – or pay up to €251.88 a year to retain their fundamental right to data protection on Instagram and Facebook,” NOYB said in a statement.

“Not only is the cost unacceptable, but industry numbers suggest that only 3% of people want to be tracked – while more than 99% decide against a payment when faced with a ‘privacy fee’,” it added.

It warned that, if Meta’s model succeeded, competitors would follow in its footsteps.

NOYB, which is chaired by privacy campaigner Max Schrems, wants the Austrian regulator to initiate an ‘urgency procedure’ to stop the measure, and to impose a fine on Meta.

Meta has said that its policy balances the requirements of European regulators, while giving users choice.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland