back to article Meta says it'll ask Euro peeps nicely before hitting them with personalized ads

Meta, after fighting European GDPR-related lawsuits for years, has said it will seek explicit consent from EU users before using their data to serve up highly targeted ads. So-called behavioral advertising has repeatedly landed the Facebook and Oculus giant in hot water with privacy watchdogs in Europe. While the Instagram …

  1. nematoad Silver badge

    Nice one Boris

    "We are assessing what this means for information rights of people in the UK and considering an appropriate response."

    Looks like we "Took back control" and promptly lost it over the likes of Facebook,

    The 27 nations of the EU plus the EEA carry a much heftier punch than isolated little Britain.

    If Facebook can face down our puny regulators then I don't think we have a hope in Hell of stopping them doing exactly what they want.

    As has been said "God favours the big battalions"

    1. noboard

      Re: Nice one Boris

      Problem is, the EU are doing sweet FA about protecting their citizens data. Max Scrhems and co. are once again fighting facebook and the EU itself, for the continuing GDPR breeches.

      Is the UK going to do anything but line their pockets? No. But to think the EU aren't doing the same is pure stupidity.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: Nice one Boris

        Because someone has to complain to trigger things. If nobody complains, nothing gets done. That's just how bureaucracies are all around the world.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: Nice one Boris

          someone has to complain to trigger things

          This is true in more ways than one, at least in the UK. When my mother was a lay magistrate she had one case where a group of young people had 'streaked' down a high street in broad daylight and promptly been arrested for 'conduct liable to cause a breach of the peace'. However, the clerk to the court informed the magistrates that unless the defendants pleaded 'guilty', they would have to be let off as no one had actually complained to the police.

          It required a 'member of the public' to complain, because, of course, no police officer would 'cause a breach of the peace'. This was also a defence against the crime of 'gross indecency', where you get away with quite a lot in a 'public place' if you had 'a reasonable expectation of privacy'. (Not that I ever tried that one.)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nice one Boris

            Put another way, they weren't bothering anyone, so what's the problem?

            1. Sub 20 Pilot

              Re: Nice one Boris

              Not a problem for most people but the continuing Talibanisation** of the US, which of course we slavishly follow in the UK, means that sex or nudity is disgusting while violence is fine.

              ** - allowing, or wanting to allow a pile of gun-obsessed, religiously backward and intolerant, woman hating buch of cunts run the show.

    2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Nice one Boris

      I hope the Online Safety Bill gets passed and WhatsApp leaves the UK. I'm gonna buy me a giant bucket of popcorn and sink into a comfy chair to enjoy the show.

  2. jake Silver badge


    What are these things you call "ads"?

    Seriously, advertisers ... Does YOUR grandmother/mother/daughter/granddaughter ever see ads? Why? Why not?

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: Ads?

      Their grandmother/mother/daughter/granddaughter presumably use smartphones.

    2. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Ads?

      Gone are the days, it seems, where there are good ones. The best two do this day that I've loved since I was a kid are: - 1989 Coca-Cola Can't Beat The Feeling - British Airways Flower Duet - still give me massive nostalgia for the 80s

  3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge


    Facebook has held this back for years, since it knows most users will reject personalized ads. This means their income will drop dramatically and permanently, which will hit their stock valuation.

    What they could do is to challenge their right to either refuse users who reject the ads to use their platform or to withhold certain features. European laws say you much provide an equal experience for users who do not accept tracking or personalized ads, but this is bullshit. I believe a web owner should be free to reject anyone who doesn't pay in one way or another.

    1. CowHorseFrog

      Re: Income

      If most users hate ads, does that mean most users also ignore ads ? If they ignore ads, why would anybody advertise on a plaatform that charges them for ads that are mostly ignored ?

      Advertising is the biggest scam in the world today, built on lies about the products or services it sells, the promises the ad buyer is promised, the entire thing is bullshit.... just like religion.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Income

        It's funny how e.g. Netflix and Disney and no doubt others manage to offer a subscription service which presumably makes them money, and yet the chattering platforms have never made the effort to get a tenner a month and it's advert and tracking free subscription working. Could it possibly be because they realise their services aren't valued that much by their users?

        (I mean, that would be too much for me, but I'm not the target audience).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Income

          You mean like X-Force or whatever Musk is calling it these days?

          1. Number 39

            X-Farce surely?

      2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Income

        I totally agree...up to a point. Advertising on Facebook and Google is very effective (I advertise there myself) but banner ads or ads in the Stories or WhatsApp contact list are mostly ignored and therefore not worth paying for.

        Advertisers should demand independent research on the effectiveness of ads on various premises of Google and Meta. Some are worth it whilst others are (just like TV-advertising) one giant scam.

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: Income

          Oh I don't know. TV advertising persuaded me to buy a subscription to F1TV. Not because they advertised on TV, but in order to stop seeing adverts...

          1. tiggity Silver badge

            Re: Income

            Surely the adverts are the best thing about yawn inducing F1?

            An amazing driver can make some difference, but each year there's always a constructor (or sometimes multiple, which does make it less tedious) that obviously has the best cars.

            Formula E is a better watch, at least its a level playing field on the cars, so skill & tactics are more important

  4. Spanners Silver badge

    "Personalized" ads

    I tend to turn these down wherever offered. It makes no difference to whether the ads are annoying or not. My mental filters tend to screen them out anyway.

    However, most of the time, my browser screens them out before I need to. I know that we hear how this feature will be disabled. Then I will frequent sites with less/no ads.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: "Personalized" ads

      My PiHole gets them before they even hit the browser :)

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    So they'll ask...

    before *showing* the ads, not harvesting and selling the data.

    1. OhForF' Silver badge

      Re: So they'll ask...

      Exactly, the problem starts with them collecting and storing all kinds of data they should not be allowed to use for anything.

      Them promising to get "explicit consent from EU users before using their data to serve up highly targeted ads" is not stopping them from collecting every data point they can access somehow.

  6. t245t

    Before and after GDPR and web browsing

    The only difference between before and after GDPR and web browsing is endless cookie enable boxes.

  7. Plest Silver badge

    Bugger off!

    Can I ask Meta to politely bugger off back to the States and never come back?!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Bugger off!

      We decline, but thank you very much for the offer.

      Perhaps they'll manage to drown themselves mid-Atlantic?

  8. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    Now we know

    why Suckerberg is getting so deep into MMA fighting - it won't be too much longer before people start actively HUNTING HIS ASS DOWN to deliver a mind-your-own-business beatdown.

  9. leppy232
    Big Brother

    "ask[ing] Euro peeps nicely before hitting them with personalized ads"

    ...doesn't sound to me like it'll be waiting for a response back. I'm sure they will, though I'm sure they'll still be collecting the data anyway (you know, the actual issue).

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