Meta to seek consent for behavioural advertising in the EU

Meta announced on 1 August that it intends to change the legal basis that it uses to process certain data for behavioural advertising for people in the European Economic Area and Switzerland from ‘Legitimate Interests’ to ‘Consent’.

Meta says that this change is ‘to address a number of evolving and emerging regulatory requirements in the region, notably how our lead data protection regulator in the EU, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), is now interpreting GDPR in light of recent legal rulings, as well as anticipating the entry into force of the [EU] Digital Markets Act (DMA)’.

Meta has been forced to make this change due to regulatory action by the EU DPAs following Ireland's Data Protection Commission’s €390 million fine in January this year. The disputed aspects of the fine were subject to the European Data Protection Board's decision. The fine was based on the finding that Meta IE inappropriately relied on a contract as a legal basis to process personal data in the context of Facebook’s Terms of Service and Instagram’s Terms of Use for the purpose of behavioural advertising.

This summer, Norway’s DPA (an EEA country) said it would issue a temporary ban on Meta’s behavioural advertising from 4 August for three months or until Meta can show it complies.

Meta says that there will be no immediate impact on its services in the region.

‘We will share further information over the months ahead, because it will take time for us to continue to constructively engage with regulators to ensure that any proposed solution addresses regulatory obligations in the EU, including GDPR and the upcoming DMA,’ Meta says.

See: Meta - How Meta Uses Legal Bases for Processing Ads in the EU