Report: Meta's Targeted Ad Model to Face EU Restrictions

    Photo: CNET

    The Facts

    • EU privacy regulators on Monday reportedly ruled that Meta Platforms Inc, which includes Facebook and Instagram, can't require users to agree to personalized ads targeting their online activity.

    • The ruling calls on Ireland's Data Protection Commission, Meta's EU regulator, to issue public orders and fines reflecting the decision. Meta can appeal the ruling, but if upheld, it would serve a blow to the company's lucrative advertising business.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The online world is desperately searching for better methods of advertising than personalized targeted ads, which is why the EU is clamping down on Big Tech's cookies-based system. If Meta wants to place a running shoe ad on a marathon website, that's fine, but collecting and tracking our every click is immoral and should be abolished by laws like this. This is a move in the right direction for privacy protection.

    Narrative B

    While this may seem like an altruistic effort on behalf of European social media users and against Big Tech, there's money being made on the other side, too. Companies that rely on contextual advertising rather than targeted ads have spent millions of dollars lobbying the EU to pass this legislation. These companies are engaged in the same selfish lobbying they accuse Big Tech of doing.

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