The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has decided to expand a ban on “behavioral advertising” from non-EU member Norway to cover all 30 countries in the European Union and the European Economic Area. This ban, which targets users by collecting their data for advertising purposes, will have a significant impact on Meta, the U.S. tech giant that owns Facebook and Instagram, both of which heavily rely on this practice.
The Norwegian data regulator, Datatilsynet, had already imposed daily fines on Meta in Norway for breaching users’ privacy through data harvesting for advertising. The fine was valid in Norway only, but the referral to the European regulator has now resulted in the ban’s extension across the broader European region.
The ban is a major setback for Meta, as it runs the risk of facing fines of up to 4% of its global turnover due to the expanded ban. The decision by the EDPB instructs the data regulator of Ireland, where Meta’s European headquarters are located, to impose a permanent ban on the company’s use of behavioral advertising within two weeks.
Meta has voiced its intention to offer users in the EU and EEA the option to consent and is planning to introduce a subscription model in November to comply with regulatory requirements. Nevertheless, the EDPB’s decision marks a significant regulatory challenge for the tech giant and underscores the growing scrutiny of data privacy practices in the European region.