Norway’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, has approached their European Union counterpart to extend a ban on Facebook and Instagram’s ad-targeting methods. They’ve asked for the emergency sanction against Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, to be made permanent and applied across the entire EU single market. The sanction prohibits tracking and profiling users for ad targeting without their explicit consent. If the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) agrees, this could result in a blanket ban on Meta running tracking ads without user permission across the EU.
Meta, however, may have other plans. The tech giant has indicated its intention to ask users for permission to run “personalized ads”, a move that might preempt any action by the EDPB. This follows an unsuccessful attempt by Meta to seek a court injunction against the Datatilsynet order. An Oslo court turned down Meta’s arguments, affirming the DPA’s right to act.
Despite Meta facing a daily fine of up to one million NOK (~$100,000) for non-compliance, it continues to ignore the Datatilsynet order. The EDPB has confirmed receipt of Datatilsynet’s request and will now assess the file. Post assessment, the Board will have two weeks to adopt its urgent binding decision.
In the meantime, Meta keeps running unlawful ads, infringing millions of EU citizens’ rights. The referral to the EDPB could push Meta to ask for user permission sooner. It seems that soon enough, Meta will have to put an end to consentless tracking and profiling in the EU region. For now, people in the EU are once again directed to wait on Ireland’s DPC to enforce their privacy rights.