Meta is set to offer ad free subscriptions in Europe to keep tracking other users. Meta will provide an ad-free subscription version of Facebook and Instagram in the European Union, EEA (European Economic Area), and Switzerland, confirming the core of a report published earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal.
Meta is Set to Offer an Ad free Subscriptions in Europe
According to a Meta blog post, the new ad-free subscription will be available beginning before the end of this year. After years of privacy litigation, enforcement, and court rulings in the EU, Meta can no longer claim a contractual right to track and profile users for ad targeting.
Well, the only available basis for Meta’s tracking and profiling ad business under regional data protection law is to obtain freely given consent from users. However, the adtech giant’s interpretation of free consent with “this pay us or be tracked subscription proposal” will, understandably, upset privacy advocates as the choice it’s offering here boils down to “paying us money.”
According to Meta’s blog post, the fee for avoiding tracking and targeting will be €9.99/month on the web or €12.99/month on iOS or Android per linked Facebook and Instagram accounts in a user’s Accounts Center. It also states that after March 1, 2024, an additional fee of €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS or Android will apply for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center.
For anyone with multiple accounts on Meta’s social networks, the cost of using Meta’s services without being tracked and profiled could quickly add up. Even for a single account, the cost of protecting one’s privacy from Meta’s tracking and profiling would be nearly €120 per year.
However, Meta’s verdict to offer users a subscription or tracking has not yet been approved by data protection authorities. It has been made clear that the subscription will be only available to people aged 18 and up, raising concerns about how it will comply with DSA and DMA requirements not to process children’s data for ad targeting.
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