Facebook and Instagram are banned from using targeted ads in Europe

The Meta logo on a smartphone in front of the Facebook logo a little bit blurred in the background
(Image credit: Shutterstock / rafapress)

Meta’s Facebook and Instagram will have to stop using targeted ads across their platforms for even longer, just months after a temporary Norwegian Data Protection Authority (DPA) ban came into play in July.

Now, Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) is to ban the processing of personal data for targeted ads, and its effects will be felt across the entire European Economic Area (EEA), including EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

The “binding decision” was issued by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which instructed the Irish DPC to impose the ban within two weeks.

Meta’s social media platforms banned from using targeted ads

The restriction effectively bans Meta from using personal data to inform the ads it displays on Facebook and Instagram, in a process known as ‘behavioral advertising’.

The news comes after the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) discovered that the social media giant’s GDPR approach to behavioral advertising did not comply with EU regulations.

Meta was hit with a €1.2 billion fine earlier in May and was given a series of steps to take in order to comply with the rules, according to the Irish DPC.

The company also has ad-free subscription-based tiers on the cards, which will see it charge more to phone subscribers than web subscribers to cover the additional processing fees brought on by mobile app stores, much like X.

They will cost €9.99 and €12.99 per month respectively, and are to be made available across the EEA, suggesting that the company has already prepared to tackle the topic of personal data processing and growing privacy concerns across the continent.

TechRadar Pro asked Meta to share more information, but the company did not immediately respond.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!