Meta steps up data privacy measures in Europe amid targeted ad concerns

Meta is stepping up its data privacy measures in the EU, EEA and Switzerland to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Over the next few weeks, Facebook and Instagram users will start receiving notifications prompting them to choose how their information is shared between Meta services.

Why we care. The effectiveness of targeted advertising on Meta platforms could be significantly impacted if a substantial number of Facebook and Instagram users choose not to share their data.

New choices. Moving forward, Facebook and Instagram users will be able to decide whether:

  • Their Facebook and Instagram accounts are connected and share data.
  • Their Facebook and Messenger accounts are connected and share data.
  • The Marketplace experience is able to use their Facebook information.
  • Their gaming experience is able to access their Facebook information.

Ad-free Meta. In addition to the above, people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland can now access Instagram and Facebook for free with ads, or they have the option to subscribe to eliminate ads. If users choose the subscription option to stop seeing ads, their information will not be utilized for advertising purposes.

Target ad concerns. Meta’s focus on improving data privacy comes after Facebook was accused of actively sharing data about every single user with thousands of brands last week. The research, conducted by Consumer Reports, found that, on average, an astonishing 2,230 companies actively share data about each user with the social networking site.

What is the Digital Markets Act (DMA)? The DMA is a new piece of legislation designed to ensure that large online platforms, called “gatekeepers”, behave in a fair way online to create a fair and open environment for online businesses. The legislation comes into effect in March.

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Deep dive. Read Meta’s announcement in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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