EU tells Facebook it can’t use targeted ads on users

The Wall Street Journal reported details about the unpublished decision of EU privacy regulators holding that Facebook and Instagram cannot use target ads on their users based on profiling their online activity. According to WSJ, the decision does not “directly order Meta to change practices, but rather call for Ireland’s Data Protection Commission to issue public orders that reflect its decisions, along with significant fines.”

The decision, however, is not final yet, so Facebook will have a chance to respond to the preliminary ruling. Ultimately, Facebook can appeal the decision to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Facebook does not allow users to avoid all targeted ads. For example, its policy allows users to avoid targeted ads based on online activities engaged in by users outside of Facebook. But Facebook still allows targeted ads on its users for their activity on Facebook: “the ads you see may still be based on your activity on our platform. They may also be based on information from a specific business that has shared a list of individuals or devices with us, if we’ve matched your profile to information on that list.”

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