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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Meta Faces EU Heat Over Pay or Consent Model: Privacy vs. Profit in the Spotlight

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is facing scrutiny from EU regulators over its ad-supported subscription model, called a pay or consent approach. This model, implemented following a European Court of Justice ruling last year, requires users to either pay for an ad-free experience or agree to their personal data being used for targeted advertising. The European Commission argues that this binary choice limits user options by not offering a less intrusive data usage alternative while providing the same social networking service.

The commission’s initial findings under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) raise two main concerns about Meta’s approach. Firstly, it claims that Meta’s ad-supported model doesn’t offer users a practical option to choose a less personalized service that complies with strict EU data privacy standards. Secondly, it criticizes Meta for not allowing users the choice to explicitly consent to the use of their personal data in targeted ads, a right protected under EU law.

These findings have significant implications for Meta, as potential penalties could reach up to 10% of its global annual revenue under the DMA, potentially amounting to billions of dollars. Meta now needs to address the EU’s preliminary findings before a final decision is made, as the commission continues its investigation alongside similar inquiries into other major tech companies. The outcome of this case could shape broader strategies in the digital platform sector concerning regulatory compliance and user privacy standards in the EU market.


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