Meta Wants Users to Pay for Their Privacy, Earning an Opposition From EU Privacy Watchdog

By Thea Felicity

Apr 17, 2024 02:20 PM EDT

Visitors stand in front and next to screens displaying the Meta logo during a launch event at the corporate offices of Meta in Berlin on June 6, 2023.
(Photo : TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Meta Platforms is facing opposition from the EU's privacy watchdog over its fee-based privacy model, per CNA.

The company's subscription service, which promises an ad-free experience on Facebook and Instagram, has been criticized for requiring users to pay for privacy protection. While Meta has cited previous statements supporting such models, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) is expected to publish its dissenting opinion soon. 

Advocacy group NOYB's chairman Max Schrems welcomed the EDPB's stance, emphasizing the need for clarity on the issue. 

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Meta's Fee-Based Privacy Model

Meta's fee-based privacy model involved offering a subscription service on Facebook and Instagram, which was launched in Europe in November. Users were required to pay a fee to ensure their privacy and enjoy an ad-free platform experience.

The tiers start at $10.50 in Europe and $13.84 for mobile sign-ups, so users can opt out of targeted ads, according to Wired.

Unfortunately, Meta has yet to clarify its data collection practices for those who will not pay for the subscription and which strategies it will implement to ensure total privacy for subscribers.

Meta defended its subscription plan, citing it follows the rules in Europe, but some argue that it doesn't really fix the privacy issues most regulators ask from them. People who support privacy worry that making people pay for it could make it something only rich people can have, making the gap between rich and poor even bigger regarding privacy.

READ MORE: Mark Zuckerberg Loses $2.79 Billion After Global Outage Hits Meta Apps For 2 Hours

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