calendar iconApr 04, 2023

Meta Faces More Action Against Illegal Ads Practices

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meta faces more action against illegal ads practices

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has been chastised for using personal data for advertising purposes. Following a series of complaints filed by noyb, a European privacy rights group, the social media giant has declared that it will transition from an illegal contract to an equally illegal basis for advertising known as "legitimate interests."

Background: GDPR and Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies must comply with at least one of six legal bases for processing personal data. For advertising purposes, most companies require users to provide their consent or "opt-in" to the use of personal data. 

However, since the GDPR went into effect in 2018, Meta attempted to avoid this requirement by claiming that the use of personal data for advertising is "necessary under the contract." This practice was found to be illegal by noyb, which won a series of complaints against Meta before the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) in December 2022. Meta has until April to stop this practice.

Background GDPR and Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data

From One Illegal Practice to Another

Rather than switching to an "opt-in" system like Google or Microsoft, Meta has chosen to argue the next unlawful option by claiming its "legitimate interest" in processing user data overrides the fundamental right to privacy and data protection of users!

This has been tried by other companies before, but regulators have repeatedly rejected this argument. For example, the Italian DPA on TikTok or the Belgian DPA on the IAB TCF at para 441.

READ MORE: Changing winds: The European Union cracks down on data abuse. 

noyb Takes Action Against Unlawful Practices

In response to Meta's announcement, noyb has prepared to take imminent action against this illegal practice. Max Schrems, founder of noyb, stated that "while some still argue that advertising would override the fundamental rights of users, this is a minority view. We are not aware of anyone arguing that profiling and tracking at the scale of Meta just to get some ad clicks would fulfill that test [1]." While the details of noyb's action will be announced at a later point in time, the organization is determined to stop unlawful practices that infringe on users' privacy rights.

noyb Takes Action Against Unlawful Practices

Meta's switch to "legitimate interest" for ads may be an attempt to sidestep the requirement for user consent, but it is still illegal. 

noyb's efforts to hold companies accountable for their data processing practices continue, and users can rest assured that their privacy rights are being protected. As the use of personal data becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, it is essential that companies respect the privacy and data protection rights of their users.

AesirX Joins the Fight for Privacy

As the market demands new solutions to comply with stricter data regulations, some organizations are already coming up with new ways of giving the same services in a compliant format.

AesirX has built several new solutions for the changing market, AesirX Analytics, AesirX WEB3 ID, and AesirX SSO, to ensure user privacy while still providing businesses with the information they need to make data-driven decisions.

AesirX Joins the Fight for Privacy

AesirX Analytics

As an alternative to traditional analytics tools, AesirX Analytics collects first-party data that is fully compliant with privacy regulations. This enables organizations to gain useful insights without jeopardizing user privacy.

AesirX WEB3 ID's Web3 ID solution provides a secure, unique identification for users on platforms like WordPress and Joomla, enhancing security and privacy while streamlining user experience. 

Users make use of a decentralized consensus mechanism to verify themselves and ensure that they retain full control of their data.

AesirX Single Sign-On (SSO)

This SSO technology solves common organizational problems by offering seamless and secure authentication across multiple services, eliminating the need for multiple passwords and improving user experience. 

Read more about AesirX Analytics, and how you can make the switch to legal 1st-party analytics, HERE!


[1] Meta (Facebook, Instagram) switching to "Legitimate Interest" for Ads Ltd.

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