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Hello all, and happy Thursday!  

As anticipated, Meta’s latest effort to contend with EU data privacy regulation is being challenged. 

In an effort to comply with EU regulations like the DMA and GDPR, Meta has begun offering a tiered subscription model to its various services, like Facebook and Instagram. EU users can either pay a monthly fee to access ad-free social media or continue to use Meta’s services for free and agree to share their personal data and receive targeted ads. It's important to note that selling ads makes up the vast majority of Meta’s revenue. 

Max Schrems’ none of your business (stylized as “noyb”) has issued a complaint against Meta for this practice, dubbing it a “pay or okay” approach to personal data collection. Ultimately, they argue, it serves to coerce individuals into giving up their fundamental rights.  

Furthermore, Meta is the first major tech company to attempt this approach in the EU—if they succeed, other tech companies may choose to offer a non-data tracking subscription tier, potentially piling on the costs for those individuals who wish to retain their data privacy rights under the GDPR. 

This begs the question, however; how are businesses like Meta supposed to respect the GDPR and stay profitable if this new subscription model isn’t acceptable? Are they just supposed to provide their services for free? It’s a fair point. Conceivably, however, Meta could provide non-targeted advertisements without violating the EU’s data privacy regulations. 

Regardless of which side of this issue you land on, it’s a good idea to watch Meta’s subscription model in the EU. It could become a standard that social media and tech companies adopt in the future. 



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