We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Meta Faces Sweeping EU Ban on Targeted Advertising

Meta Faces Sweeping EU Ban on Targeted Advertising
Zane Kennedy Published on 9th November 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

In a landmark decision that shakes the core of online advertising, Meta Platforms Inc. has been directed by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) to cease targeted advertising practices across the European Economic Area (EEA). This measure primarily impacts its social media services, Facebook and Instagram.

The binding decision, issued on October 27 and made public this week, was precipitated by concerns from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (DPA) over Meta's use of personal data for behavioral advertising. This method involves tracking and profiling users based on location, content interests, and online activity, allowing platforms to serve personalized ads.

The EDPB has instructed Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) to implement a comprehensive ban on this practice within two weeks, effectively extending Norway’s earlier temporary measure across the EEA’s 30 countries. The ruling will potentially affect around 250 million users and challenge the ad-based business model Meta has long relied upon.

Meta, previously reprimanded with fines totaling €655 million (~$735 million) for similar practices, is now at risk of accruing penalties up to 4% of its global turnover. This could amount to a staggering $4.6 billion, based on last year’s revenue figures.

In response, Meta has indicated plans to roll out a consent-based mechanism for EU and EEA users, alongside introducing a subscription model. This November, Meta will offer an ad-free experience priced at €9.99 monthly on the web and €12.99 on mobile platforms. These measures are aimed at aligning with regulatory standards and providing alternatives for users concerned about privacy.

Experts mention that the ban highlights systemic privacy concerns and the intrusive nature of behavioral advertising. Datatilsynet emphasized the issue, pointing out that despite clear evidence of lawbreaking, Meta has continued its illicit personal data processing. Additionally, Anu Talus, EDPB Chair, has stressed the urgency for Meta to demonstrate compliance, saying, “It is high time for Meta to bring its processing into compliance and to stop unlawful processing.”

This confrontation with Meta underscores the EU’s staunch stance on digital privacy and data protection, signaling a shift towards greater consumer rights online. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) remains the cornerstone of Europe’s privacy landscape, and this enforcement is a testament to its reach and impact.

Meta's strategy to appeal previous fines and pivot towards a subscription model reflects a broader trend where tech giants are compelled to reconsider their revenue streams and data practices amidst increasingly stringent regulations. The outcome of Meta’s compliance efforts will undoubtedly set a precedent in the online advertising space and shape the future of digital privacy rights in Europe.

About the Author

Zane is a Cybersecurity Researcher and Writer at vpnMentor. His extensive experience in the tech and cybersecurity industries provides readers with accurate and trustworthy news stories and articles. He aims to help individuals protect themselves through informative content and awareness of cybersecurity's crucial role in today's digital landscape.