Meta, the social media giant, has announced their intention to change the legal basis they use to process certain data for behavioral advertising for people in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland from ‘Legitimate Interests’ to ‘Consent’. This change comes in response to a number of evolving regulatory requirements in the region and an order in January by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner.
Prior to this change, Facebook and Instagram users had effectively agreed to allow their data to be used in targeted advertising when they signed up to the services’ terms and conditions, until the regulator ruled it could not process personal information in that way.
In a statement to address the change, Meta said: “Today, we are announcing our intention to change the legal basis that we use to process certain data for behavioral advertising for people in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland from ‘Legitimate Interests’ to ‘Consent’. There is no immediate impact to our services in the region. Once this change is in place, advertisers will still be able to run personalized advertising campaigns to reach potential customers and grow their businesses. We have factored this change into our business outlook.”
In response, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, the lead privacy regulator for many of the world’s largest technology companies within the EU, said: “It had received correspondence from Meta on the matter.”
Meta’s ultimate goal is to provide a safe experience for its users and ensure that all data is handled in a regulatory-compliant manner. By asking users in the EU for their consent before allowing businesses to target advertising based on what they view on its services, Meta is actively seeking to protect their users’ privacy. The social media giant’s willingness to accept the consequences of changing its policy to ensure regulatory compliance shows its commitment to protecting its users’ data.