Meta has announced its intention to comply with European Union privacy regulations by allowing users to opt out of behavioral advertising.
The move comes as the tech giant faces an ongoing regulatory procedure over the legal basis for running microtargeted ads.
While the blog post does not provide a specific date for the change, Meta aims to switch to a consent-based legal basis for targeted advertising in the coming months.
However, the exact compliance timeline will be determined by EU regulators.
Earlier reports suggest that Meta may offer to switch to consent by the end of October, but EU regulatorALSOs will ultimately decide the timeline.
Norway’s data protection authority recently issued a temporary ban on Meta from running behavioral advertising in the market without user consent, and other EU regulators may take similar actions if the implementation timeline is not speedy.
The move to give users a choice not to be tracked is a response to a Court of Justice of the EU ruling that closed the “legitimate interests” escape hatch for data processing.
Meta’s previous claims of a contractual basis and performance of a contract for ad processing were deemed in breach of the GDPR.
The privacy-hostile business model of forced surveillance behavioral ads has finally reached its limit in the EU, leaving Meta with no option but consent.
However, the company will not provide this choice universally, with US and UK users excluded. Meta will offer the choice to users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland.
Despite the win for privacy advocates, enforcement has taken years, and Meta’s privacy abuses have not stopped.
It may still take several months before the company provides EU users with the required opt-out choice.
Nonetheless, the fact that Meta is being compelled to reform its business model indicates a shift in the era of untouchable platform giants and their apparent immunity to the rule of law.