The Allow or Pay model of Facebook and Instagram is not permissible: here’s why according to EDPB

The Allow or Pay model of Facebook and Instagram is not permissible: here's why according to EDPB

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) expressed his opinion regarding the model “Allow or Pay” recently introduced and used by Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. This model forces users to choose between give consent to the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg to use your personal information for targeted advertising or sign up for a paid plan. In fact, therefore, for some months it has been possible to use Facebook and Instagram for free only by sharing personal data.

Noaha non-profit organization coordinated by Max Schrems, had harshly stigmatized the behavior of Meta arguing that it is not possible to link the free nature of a service to the provision of personal information and that the monthly fee required of those who wish to use Facebook and Instagram without sending any data would be disproportionate compared to the business normally developed by Zuckerberg’s company on each user.

The position of the European Privacy Guarantor: Meta must provide a third option. “Allow or Pay,” as it stands, is not permissible

EDPB is an independent organization of the European Union established under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Its main responsibility is to ensure the correct application of the requirements contained in the GDPR in all Member States and to promote cooperation between data protection authorities (DPAs, read Privacy Guarantees).

In a press release just released, EDPB wanted to anticipate that practices of the “Allow or Pay“, like the one adopted by Meta, are not eligible because they do not comply with the dictates of the GDPR. Consent for the sharing of personal datain fact, he must always be free and collected without exerting undue pressure.

The official EDPB note does not explicitly mention Meta but the reference to the behavior of Zuckerberg’s company is clear. According to what was concluded by EDPB, the models “Allow or Pay” offered by online platforms should provide a third truly significant option.

In other words, users must be able to benefit from alternatives that do not involve paying fees or targeted advertising based on their behavior and specific interests. EDPB hypothesizes, for example, a solution that leads to the display of advertising information less frequently and does not use personal information.

At this point, in any case, EDPB will take responsibility for inviting all interested parties (evidently starting from Meta) to definition of guidelines for the model “Allow or Pay“.

Max Schremschair of Noyb, welcomed the EDPB’s decision, but expressed concern that the published opinion was not sufficiently informed.

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