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Consumer associations file a complaint against Meta for its paid subscription

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Apr17,2024

 Consumer associations file complaint against Meta for its paid subscription

AFP/Archives – kenzo tribouillard

Thursday February 29, consumer associations from eight European countries filed a complaint against Meta with the personal data protection authorities. They accuse the American giant of violating the new digital rules of the European Union with its subscription system.

Since their creation, Facebook and Instagram have always been free, and everyone used them with a more or less clear understanding of the amount of personal data collected. Last year, particularly with the application of the Digital Services Act (DSA) — which was added to the GDPR, the European Union decided to wage war on inadvertent data collection.

Since November 2023, Meta has therefore had to find another path to achieve its goals. Not difficult: either you pay or you agree to have your data collected. There, it's much clearer. Each Instagram or Facebook account user refusing the collection of this data must pay 9.99 euros per month if they pay via computer, or 12.99 euros if they use smartphone applications. Heads, I win, tails, you lose.

UFC-Que Choisir calls this “a smokescreen intended to divert the consumer's attention from the illicit processing of their personal data” . “This kind of surveillance-based business model poses all sorts of problems with GDPR. It’s time for data protection authorities to put an end to Meta’s abusive data processing and violation of fundamental rights.” of users, believes Ursula Pachl, deputy director general of the European Consumers' Unions Bureau (BEUC).

She recalls that the GDPR requires that consent be “freely data”, while Meta “attempts to force consumers to accept the processing of their personal data”.

As reported by AFP, complaints from associations are filed in a coordinated manner with data protection authorities in France, Slovenia, Spain, Slovakia, Denmark, Norway, Greece and the Czech Republic. The decision will be centralized, and should in principle fall to the Irish data protection authority, since it is in this country that Meta's European headquarters is established.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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