Facebook and Instagram users in Europe may not have to pay Meta for the removal of ads from their news feeds.
According to the New York Times, Meta is considering charging for access to its social network products in an effort to calm EU worries over data privacy and advertisements. The cost and release date is not known yet, and it is uncertain whether the product will truly be made readily available.
For a while now, the company has been in conflict with the EU and other European regulators, due to suspected privacy violations from its ad-tracking services and data transfers. Meta was given a $1.3 billion fine by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission for breaking GDPR by sending European users’ data to the US. A data transfer deal between the US and the EU was signed in July, removing restrictions on social media sites.
The opportunity to opt out of targeted advertising has already begun in the EU. Meta reportedly went further by recommending it as an opt-in choice for everyone in the region.
Due to regulatory uncertainty, Meta also delayed the launch of its brand-new social platform, Threads, across Europe. The impending Digital Markets Act, which forbids businesses from reusing sensitive user data such as their name and location, seems to worry Meta.