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Meta fined for forcing users to agree to personalised adverts

Meta was fined EUR390m (PS343m), by regulators after it was forced to accept personalised ads.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission handed down the penalty, claiming that the social media giant had violated EU privacy rules.

In addition to the heavy fine, was also banned from forcing users sign up for such ads.

Advertisers can target people who are most likely to be interested by their products or services by targeting them based on their online activity.


Meta, previously known as has stated that it will appeal both the fine and the content of the ruling.

The ruling did not prohibit targeted or personalized advertising on its platforms which include Insta, WhatsApp and Facebook.

A spokesperson stated that the decisions only concern which legal basis Meta uses to offer certain advertising.

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This fine dwarfs the EUR225m (then PSD193m), penalty imposed by the Irish watchdog WhatsApp in 2021 after the company was found to be in violation of regulations relating to transparency data sharing with other Meta companies.

The Data Protection Commission in Ireland issues these fines as part of its role as the leading privacy regulator for many large technology companies around the EU.

Meta was hit with a new penalty, amounting to EUR1.3bn (PS1.1bn)

Reuters reports that this fine follows an EU directive on social media companies’ advertising practices last month.

It was about a 2018 change in Facebook and Instagram’s terms-of-service. Meta wanted to use the “contract” legal base to handle ads.

It previously relied upon the explicit consent from users for the processing of their personal information for targeted ads. Meta accepted its 2018 terms as an acceptance to continue such advertising.

A spokesperson for the company claimed that there was not enough regulatory clarity around this issue.

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This fine comes only weeks after Meta was investigated for potentially fraudulent ads on Instagram and Facebook.

Which? has analysed adverts. Demos, a research charity, found that hundreds of advertisements paid for promoted unregulated investment products. This included cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.


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