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Meta's paid ad-free subscription service comes under legal scrutiny

Advocacy group NOYB (None Of Your Business) filed a complaint with Austrian regulator on Tuesday claiming that the service amounts to paying a fee to ensure privacy.

By  Storyboard18Nov 29, 2023 11:46 AM
Meta's paid ad-free subscription service comes under legal scrutiny
The ad-free subscription costs 9.99 euros ($10.90) monthly for web users and 12.99 euros for iOS and Android users. (Representative Image: Dima Solomin via Unsplash)

Meta Platforms’ paid ad-free subscription service that was launched in Europe earlier this month has come under scrutiny. Advocacy group NOYB (None Of Your Business) filed a complaint with Austrian regulator on Tuesday claiming that the service amounts to paying a fee to ensure privacy.

The service was announced by Meta last month for Facebook and Instagram. The tech giant has stated that the service is in compliance EU rules that states that users mist be given a choice on whether their data can be collected by the platform and used for targeted ads.

The ad-free subscription costs 9.99 euros ($10.90) monthly for web users and 12.99 euros for iOS and Android users. According to Meta, a subscription model is a valid form of seeking consent for an advertising-funded service and was in accordance with the ruling passed in July in Europe’s top court. Alternatively, users can still opt for a free ad-supported service.

NOYB, founded by privacy activist Max Schrems disagreed on what Meta considers as consent.

NOYB, which has filed hundreds of complaints against big tech companies ranging from Alphabet Google to Meta over privacy violations, urged the Austrian privacy authority to launch an expedited process to stop Meta and also impose a fine.

The complaint will likely be forwarded to the Irish data protection watchdog which oversees Meta because it has its European headquarters in Ireland.

First Published on Nov 29, 2023 11:46 AM
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