The deadline has passed: Meta has to pay fines every day since August 14 for not complying with requests from the Norwegian data protection authority. This involves the display of personalized advertising on the Facebook and Instagram platforms. Norway would like Meta to refrain from doing this as a matter of principle or to obtain durable consent.
As early as July 17, the data protection authority had asked Datatilsynet Meta to stop displaying advertising based on user data. A grace period lasted until August 4, but because nothing has happened since then, Meta now has to pay a fine of one million crowns (about 90,000 euros) a day. Initially, this penalty is valid until November 3rd. If Meta still hasn’t made a change, the penalty can be converted to permanent. To do this, however, it must be submitted to the European Data Protection Board, which would have to agree to the extension. That would then also be a clear sign for the other countries in Europe where the GDPR applies.
Meta wants consent for personalized advertising
Meta announced last week that it would ask users in the EU to consent to the processing of their data for personalized advertising. This announcement is not enough for Datatilsynet, Norway chooses the penalty instead. The planned changes to advertising also followed a dispute with the Irish Data Protection Authority (DPC), which is responsible for Meta in the EU. Although Norway is not a member of the EU, the GDPR still applies.
“When Meta decides what advertising to show someone, it also decides what not to show someone,” the Norwegian Data Protection Authority explains its decision. This affects society’s freedom of expression and information.
In addition, the European Court of Justice recently confirmed a ruling by the Federal Cartel Office, according to which Meta is not allowed to combine user data from different services for the purpose of advertising – unless there is consent to do so. By merging the data, Meta is using its market power, it said.
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