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  • Writer's pictureAsli Cazorla Milla

A New Fine for Meta: Future of Digital Ads in EU

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

It is not new to hear that Meta got another fine for its advertising practices. This one is fresh out of the oven and it is coming with a huge punch for all digital advertising in the EU. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, faced significant penalties last week over $400 million. Yes, you read right. These fines were imposed by the Irish privacy regulator, who determined that Meta had violated EU privacy laws with its advertising and data management practices. Remember, GDPR? Well, it is still on! As it should be.

The Irish Data Protection Commission has recommended that Meta be penalized with two fines. The first is a fine of 210 million euros ($222.5 million) for infringing the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The second fine amounts to 180 million euros and is related to violations of the same law by Instagram. We are anxiously waiting for these tech giants to comply with the GDPR and the advertising rules since they came into practice a few years back. But, according to Gartner's projections, by 2024, privacy regulations will encompass the personal data of 75% of the global population. However the surveys show that 9 out of 10 consent management platforms within the EU have yet to be properly implemented, leading to the premature collection of personal data before users have the opportunity to opt-out. This is not enough...Even five years after the implementation of GDPR, it remains challenging, if not impossible, for individuals to exert complete control over how their data is shared.


It's worth highlighting that Apple's App Tracking Transparency seems to be one of the working ones at this stage. We love our iPhones for a reason, right? Despite generating controversy within the ad tech industry, this feature is singled out for its user-friendly nature, clear understanding, and, most crucially, its consistent and effective performance. But considering the large amount of Android phones, the efforts to protect the data are not enough. This fine for Meta represents a significant setback for Meta's earnings within the EU and we must now be actively queried about their preferences regarding data usage for advertising purposes, with a clear 'yes or no' option. Furthermore, we should have the flexibility to revise our choices at any point.

We as marketers know the urgency of creating a more robust consent solution across the industry at all costs. In order for us not to lose in the long term, we all need to create a better understanding of what is to be done. Otherwise, the future of advertising and data seems far more complex than ever.


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