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Meta Fined More Than $400 Million in EU for Serving Ads Based on Online Activity

By The Wall Street Journal

January 4, 2023

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A top European Union privacy regulator ruled that Meta META 2.84%increase; green up pointing triangle

Platforms Inc. can't use its contracts with Facebook and Instagram users to justify sending them ads based on their online activity, delivering one of the bloc's biggest blows yet to the digital-advertising industry.

The ruling, announced Wednesday by Ireland's Data Protection Commission, also imposed fines of 390 million euros, or $411 million, on Meta, saying that the company violated EU privacy laws by saying such ads are necessary to execute contracts with users. 

Meta, the parent of Instagram and Facebook, said it disagrees with the ruling and plans to appeal both it and the fines.

Litigation could take years, but if the decisions are upheld, they could mean that Meta will have to allow users to opt out of ads that are based on how individual users interact with its own apps—something that could hurt its core business.

From The Wall Street Journal
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