eu, meta, facebook, threads, targeted ads, consent, data privacy, affiliate marketing, social media marketing,

Meta loses battle with EU to ask permission for targeted ads

After a long legal battle between Meta, the umbrella company for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and now Threads, and the European Union, Meta has conceded. Meta was challenging the need for its platforms to ask for consent before showing users targeted ads, which the EU is putting into regulation.

The argument from Meta is that the concession to ask users for permission to look at targeted ads on the platform would go against the platform’s core money-making strategy. The thought behind the EU’s decision to regulate targeted ads is in the interest of user and data profiles that can be made in order to make these targeted ads, given Facebook’s historic scandal with Cambridge Analytica.

However, after a series of struck-down regulatory rulings, Meta conceded to the idea. Soon users will have to explicitly agree to see targeted ads in their feeds. The platform announced the change in a statement, saying: “We are announcing our intention to change the legal basis that we use to process certain data for behavioural advertising for people in the EU, EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland from ‘legitimate interests’ to ‘consent’.”

Stephen Almond, executive director of regulatory risk at the Information Commissioner’s Office, said: “As a digital regulator, we pay close attention to how companies operate internationally and how people’s rights are respected.”

“We’re aware of Meta’s plans to seek consent from users for behavioural advertising in the EU, to the exclusion of the UK. We are assessing what this means for information rights of people in the UK and considering an appropriate response.”

How are affiliate marketers likely to be affected by this change?

It’s possible that the amount of people engaging in an opt-in situation will affect reach more than an opt-out system. Affiliate marketers should be prepared for a dip and adapt accordingly. It’s important to adapt to data consent regulations now because the EU is only the first to enforce them and is not likely to be the last.

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