back to article Meta sued by privacy group over pay up or click OK model

Privacy activist group noyb (None Of Your Business) has filed a data protection complaint against Meta over the "Pay or Okay" subscription model, one it reckons is now being considered by many of Meta's rivals. The complaint was filed with the Austrian data protection authority. The gist is that the right to privacy is a …

  1. IceC0ld

    that last sentence - just delete your Meta account and walk away

    it's becoming easier by the day to contemplate this, I spend most of my time there now, just blocking accounts that want to show some 'celebrity' flesh, or sell you something AMAZING

    I am just trying to keep in contact with friends, real friends, to check who is ok, and who will be where come the weekend

    but really, the option of sliding back in time, and using the web as a contact point for a few websites and meeting up as and when has a certain charm, as well as some attraction to it

    why can't they just be happy with being BILLIONAIRES, and make do with the meagre multi billion amounts pouring in each year :o(

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      I am just trying to keep in contact with friends, real friends, to check who is ok, and who will be where come the weekend

      You can write a letter, you know using a pen and paper and if you want to see who is up for a sesh, just go to them. If you face no answer? So what, at least you done your 6000 steps.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Um, instead of proposing caveman solutions, maybe you could mention email and SMS ?

        Nobody writes letters anymore. XMas is a time of Whats'App and video phone. Get with the program.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Caveman? My memory of doing these is quite fresh and I ain't got no cave.

          1. MrDamage Silver badge

            When I say house, it were really just a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin, but it was a house to us.

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              You had a tarpaulin?

              1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                You had a hole? In the ground!?!

                1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

                  A hole... in the ground... luxury.

                  In my day we had to sleep under the stars with only our own urine for warmth.

                  1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                    You could keep your urine? We had to sell ours.

                    1. Lon24

                      At least in that day a 1p stamp would get your missive delivered anywhere in the UK next day thanks to those nouveau steam engines - maybe the same day if you lived anywhere civilised ;-)

                      Whereas today the wrong side of a quid might get a letter delivered sometime/ That's if you can find a biro that actually works. But what's wrong with this new fangled emaily thing? You really need to get into the twentieth century before it's too late!

                    2. BobTheIntern

                      I see the Four Yorkshiremen are alive and well in the El Reg comments section.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          I personally like to send and receive birthday and Christmas cards; I gave up giving them to all sundry long ago. And I very much dislike seeing the same trending clip or GIF repeatedly. It takes a couple of minutes more to send a card, that means you're making time to do so.

          1. Luiz Abdala

            Put a fake birthday on facebook.

            My mother in law placed a fake birthday on her FB, so she knows who is sending Birthday cards but barely knows her, and who is actual family that knows her actual birthday. The woman is a genius.

            My wife did the same, I find it hilarious.

            1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

              Re: Put a fake birthday on facebook.

              Like the queen. I wonder if Prince Charles will do the same.

        3. MrDamage Silver badge

          We're talking about getting off Facebook, and here you are spruiking one of their products.

        4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          And just who owns WhatsApp?

          I'll give you three guesses.

          Come on now, don't be shy...

          Yes, it is Meta.

          FSCK Zuck and all at META.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Some countries no longer have a functioning postal service. I have relatives in South Africa living in a town in a poorer area, where there are no postmen to deliver mail. How does one tell them to make their way to their nearest (20 mile away) post office, if not by electronic means?

        I'm all for not using facebook, though.

    2. BenDwire Silver badge

      I binned FB 10 years ago, and despite all the FOMO I haven't lost contact with any real friends since then. Sure, it does take a bit more effort to send out multiple messages via SMS, Signal or even email, but not that much more. Vague acquaintances have fallen away as might be expected, but that's no real problem being the curmudgeonly git that I am.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Of course this will vary greatly from person to person, but my experience is similar. Yes, since I stopped lurking1 on Facebook I hear less family news; but I phone my father every few weeks and get caught up with him and my siblings then. I'm in contact with my stepdaughter by SMS and see her and the grandkids pretty frequently in person — they're a 10-hour drive away, but that's not a big deal for us.

        The few friends I really care to hear about on a regular basis don't use Facebook, so that's not an issue.

        Organizations I need to hear from will email announcements as well as posting them to Facebook, and should they forget one, I'll hear about it from my wife.

        Similarly with Twitter: I lurked for a few months, then quit. Never missed it. I see many references to work-related tweets in articles that I read, but I've never for a moment regretted not seeing them sooner on Twitter.

        As far as I can see, social media offers me no real value and plenty of cost. Not including the Reg forums, which of course are a tremendously rewarding salon of the best and brightest. (I'm not sure if reading the RISKS digests counts as social-media lurking, particularly since I skip past anything that's not substantial, like the tiresome arguments recently over specious deist arguments.)

        1I don't know that I ever posted anything — if I did, it would have been very early on — and any other interaction was the result of fat-fingering the wrong button.

    3. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      The cold hard reality is this... if you only use it to keep in touch with friends, and those friends REFUSE to use any other means of communicating. then are they 'really' friends?

      I deleted facebook 11 or 12 yrs ago for the 2nd time... the first was in 2008 after I was talked into using it 7-8 months earlier by work colleagues.

      I do not miss it at all, it's a toxic wasteland of shit and is bad for your mental health.

      For the next 7yrs... I had to put up with so called friends moaning 'but you're not on facebook' as justification for not making an effort to keep in touch.

      So I delivered a final statement to them all... I will only make an effort with people who make an effort and demanding that I use facebook for your convenience is the opposite of making an effort.

      Guess how many I've spoken with since 2019.


      They weren't friends... they were people I used to be friends with as teenagers and who drifted out of each others lives 25yrs ago... desperately trying to hang on to their youth in middle age.

      I moved on, made new friends found people who were interested in the same things I am now rather than reminiscing over past shared experiences.

      I highly recommend dropping anyone who refuses to make the effort to stay in touch if you choose not to participate in being the product of some billionaires fetish... every excuse they offer is based in their laziness and ignorance.

  2. msknight

    I may be wrong but...

    The way I read the thing a while ago, Meta would not necessarily stop using someone's personal data for themselves; just stop it from being used by other parties.

    On the one hand, that would make sense because even if they're not serving you ads they're still serving you groups you might like, subjects of interest, etc. but there is no oversight on what they will continue to use your data for.

    Facing that kind of scenario, I'm not going to pony up.

    1. Alan Mackenzie

      Re: I may be wrong but...

      From my point of view, you are wrong.

      The violation of privacy does not happen at the time advertisements are blasted at you. It happens when your data are slurped, regardless of what, if anything, is then done with them.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: I may be wrong but...

        Exactly this. As far as I am concerned, the only data that a social media *needs* about it's customers product is the connection graph. Any other information a user posts should only be processed to the extent that the post is displayed to people in the network. (and I don't know about eg Mastodon, but I expect this is how it should work).

        And every single program or App needs to be much more forthright about exactly what data they want to capture, store and use (and much as I dislike Apple's walled-garden concept, their explicit labelling of App permissions and privacy is a good step).

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: I may be wrong but...

          I only install Firefox (with ublock and noscript). I will *never* install an 'app' when I have a browser. If I can't use their service with a browser I just move on -- t'internet's a big place.

          With Firefox you have a hell of a lot more control of the data you leak. With apps, zero control. Steve Jobs fuck off.

      2. Frank Bitterlich

        Re: I may be wrong but...

        The GDPR says that both are illegal: to collect data without consent (except for that stupid "legitimate interest" loophole) and using data without consent or for purposes which have not been permitted.

    2. Quartz_dk

      Re: I may be wrong but...

      No - you're not wrong. That is what they said, so the collection will go on. The even more interesting thing is,- what about the data that is collected on people who does not even have a "Meta" account? They never gave consent for anything but still may be targeted indirectly.

      So,- yes, it will impact their business if the law is exercised, but when it is called "legitimate interest" (i have no idea, who labeled it this), it is so far allowed ...

      1. sten2012 Bronze badge

        Re: I may be wrong but...

        I left over a decade ago, right when you could tag friends in photos without their consent.

        It was creepy in so many ways on FB's I could never and still can't see past it. The day business expected and okayed acquaintances to upload and tag PII about you rather than yourself. While they let you delete data when you leave (ostensibly) you know that facial recognition model isn't being reset every day. And suspect none of the data itself was either.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Stalking and financial abuse

    The so called "targeted ads" should be outright illegal.

    It's like someone following you and then seeing you at your low, selling you a fix that you don't need.

    I would go further and retrospectively tax any proceeds from targeted ads at 100% going back since the first time it has been deployed on unsuspecting population.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Stalking and financial abuse

      Especially since the only thing they seem to target is the fact is that I just bought a LED flashlight, so they propose me the chance to buy more.

      Pathetically useless. I have a LED flashlight now, and batteries to go with it. Suggest something more interesting, like a battery charger. But no, the vaunted AI they keep harping on can't even guess that.

      What a failure.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Stalking and financial abuse

        Could be worse, like a LED fleshlight...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stalking and financial abuse

          How else would you find it in the dark?

      2. Felonmarmer

        Re: Stalking and financial abuse

        YouTube is even worse. Watch a video of something and your recommendations fill up with do you want to watch a video of someone else watching that video you just watched.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Stalking and financial abuse

          > do you want to watch a video of someone else watching that video you just watched.

          How else are you going to find out if you watched the original video properly?

          Did you gasp at the correct time? Get outraged as expected? Laugh at the things you were supposed to (and not at the "serious" bits)?

          YouTube are just thinking about your best interests, ensuring you know how to fit neatly into your little box[1]

          [1] PS don't listen to them! Break out of your assigned box! They can't stop <carrier lost>

        2. Alex Stuart

          Re: Stalking and financial abuse

          Unfortunately that is quite a good recommendation to make, because loads of people - for some reason - love "reaction videos".

          I've seen trailers for new videogames come out and the 'xxxx reacts to trailer' video has more views than the trailer itself....

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Stalking and financial abuse

          I'm aware that "reaction videos" exist, but I don't think I've ever seen YT recommend one to me. Presumably because I'm special.

      3. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Stalking and financial abuse

        Amazon AI is particularly interesting - it tends to recommend things to me I actually have to Google to find out what they are. Last one was a replacement rotisserie motor, it doesn't match anything I ever do let alone purchase. I'm sure it's pranking me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stalking and financial abuse

          Your mistake was using Google for anything.

          Your second mistake was using Amazon.

          Please carry on if you want your life to be slurped. If not then you know what to do.

  4. NapTime ForTruth

    Extortion, by definition

    How is this not the very definition of extortion, indistinguishable from:

    "Hey, we're so glad you're here. Really. And since you're here, you can either pay us or we'll hit you repeatedly with this hammer and maybe share some of your "private", uh, stuff with some other people - like your family and friends, or your boss, or maybe the police, or literally anyone who's willing to pay for it. I mean, it's entirely up to you, no pressure. But you should probably pay us so nobody has to get hurt or get their data passed around. You know what I mean."

    For reference (from Wikipedia):

    United States:

    [...] Extortion, which is not limited to the taking of property, involves the verbal or written instillation of fear that something will happen to the victim if they do not comply with the extortionist's will. [...] In United States federal law, extortion can be committed with or without the use of force and with or without the use of a weapon. Violation of many state extortion statutes constitutes "racketeering activity" under Section 1961 of the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 USC


    In the United States, extortion may also be committed as a federal crime across a computer system, phone, by mail, or in using any instrument of interstate commerce. Extortion requires that the individual sent the message willingly and knowingly as elements of the crime. The message only has to be sent (but does not have to reach the intended recipient) to commit the crime of extortion.

    1. Quartz_dk

      Re: Extortion, by definition

      Nooo... It's not extortion - it's called legitimate interest !

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

    I have never had a FB account, use Javascript blockers, etc. However FB know about me since friends use it, mention me and have me in their contacts list. So FB has almost certainly got a shadow profile of me, something that it has built without my consent - which seems to be a breach of the GDPR. Something that they should be challenged in court about.

    They might not be able to show me advertising, targetted or not, but knowing who I know helps them build their graph of personal interests and so must help them earn. How much I do not know, but not £0.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

      The shadow profiles they build are not necessarily a breach of GDPR: the data has been provided freely by other people.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

        It's built without the consent of the data subject.

        That's explicitly illegal.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

          The breach is technically being carried out by the person who uploads the data: we're all under an obligation there. After that, we don't have any proof as to what they're doing, though we suspect it. It's possible, of course, that they're using one way hashes which might get them out of the "processing personal data". I guess this is why we haven't seen any lawsuits.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

            Not true. Under GDPR rules the holder of the data is responsible. IF FB has any PII on me in their database, they have to confirm to the acts requirements, which they most certainly are not doing.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

              That's not quite right. As I said, the contract is initially between your contact and Facebook. Certainly, they are then contractually obliged to store and process that data only in accordance with… and maybe they do: it's all hashed and used only to provide the services to the user…, or as many of us suspect, they're using the data to build their own shadow networks. Personally, I don't trust them, have never used any of their services, and have them blacklisted on most devices,

              Have you been in contact with them to see what data they have on you? Somehow I suspect the conversations might be similar to those the FBI had with Philip K. Dick.

      2. Quartz_dk

        Re: How much does FB benefit from nonFB users ?

        You cannot legitimise GDPR data by source, so even if the Data has been given voluntarily (with or without knowledge), does not remove the GDPR label.

  6. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Missing the point

    …not that it’s any surprise

    A subscription model as a valid alternative to an advert-funded model is absolutely fine

    BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s ok to slurp customer data in the advert-funded tariff. You can serve adverts WITHOUT invading people’s privacy; the two things don’t HAVE to go together.

    As has been pointed out millions of times already, magazines and TV and newspapers have been doing this for as long as they have existed - it’s really not difficult

  7. PirateKing

    Easy way to teach FB a lession

    there are 13 ROOT DNS servers, 9 in the USA... the collective countries need to just un-dns FaceBook so anything with Facebook in the URL gets a page that reads "Facebook is not accessible using normal DNS servers" or some other silly post.... even the basic 404 error.

    Now if you used Facebook's DNS servers on your PC, phone, tablet etc.. you could get to them.

    But this would pretty much cease all traffic to FB, no traffic, no ads being viewed, no ads being served up. The collective countries tell FB they have a choice, permanently stop all data harvesting for them and 3rd parties, stop blasting ads on their site or at least things like adblockers to work on their sites or we will keep FB offline this way until Tom from MySpace revives his old site and takes over as the social media giant.

    Now the down side is everyone who lives on facebook will have to find another way but hey! its for the greater good

    1. FILE_ID.DIZ

      Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

      You know that the "root" servers only resolve the (g/gr/s/cc/etc)TLDs, right?

      The root servers take the query "", and says, here's the list of COM. name servers. That's all they do, all day long. Billions of times a day.

      com. is solely run by VeriSign Global Registry Services -

      Just saying.

      Plus, you do recall that the internet, and DNS, is designed to work/route around outages. In fact, no one notices one iota that if you're a Hurricane Electric customer on IPv6, you likely can't reach the C root servers via IPv6 because of the ongoing Cogent v HE war.

      PS: VeriSign, through mergers, also runs two roots too, A and J

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

        Nice to see the dot (ie the true DNS root) at the right of com and not before it. :-)

    2. Rich 2 Silver badge

      Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

      You can always run your own root DNS and filter faecesbook (and anything else you want) from it

      Running a personal root DNS is not at all difficult - I did it for years in a past life (though adding the filtering is left as an exercise for the reader)

      1. FILE_ID.DIZ

        Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

        Resolver is the correct name for what you setup.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

          It's quite easy to set up a personal root server. I do so myself. The root zone, and the major second level ones can be IXFR/AXFR with no issue.

          primaries root-primaries


; 2001:500:2f::f; //

; 2620:0:2d0:202::132; //

; 2620:0:2830:202::132; //


          primaries arpa-primaries


; 2620:0:2d0:202::132; //

; 2620:0:2830:202::132; //


          zone "."


          type secondary; primaries { root-primaries; }; notify no; allow-query { private-only; }; file "/usr/local/etc/namedb/secondary/ROOT";


          zone ""


          type secondary; primaries { root-primaries; }; notify no; allow-query { private-only; }; file "/usr/local/etc/namedb/secondary/";


          zone "arpa"


          type secondary; primaries { root-primaries; }; notify no; allow-query { private-only; }; file "/usr/local/etc/namedb/secondary/arpa";


          zone ""


          type secondary; primaries { arpa-primaries; }; notify no; allow-query { private-only; }; file "/usr/local/etc/namedb/secondary/";


          zone ""


          type secondary; primaries { arpa-primaries; }; notify no; allow-query { private-only; }; file "/usr/local/etc/namedb/secondary/";

          1. FILE_ID.DIZ

            Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

            You're just hosting a resolver with root server hints.

            If you were to host a root server, you need to host the root zone locally which is conveniently listed here -

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

      13? There are over 600 root servers spread around the world.

      The UK alone has 22.

      1. FILE_ID.DIZ

        Re: Easy way to teach FB a lession

        There are 13 named authorities operated by 12 entities. There are, as you noted, a lot more.

        In fact, there are currently 1,771 instances as of 2023-11-30T04:09:07Z according to

        There appears to be 32 on the UK island. (None apparently in NI.)

  8. heyrick Silver badge

    Dear nyob

    I hope you succeed, as this crap (accept all cookies or cough up cash) turns up in French websites.

    Simple Google for cookie recipes gave this example:

    It starts off looking normal, but if you choose "Je n'accepte rien", it'll change to a second window giving you the choice of "Je change d'avis et j'accepte tous les cookies" or "Je m'abonne pour un mois".

    Shit like this needs to get called out more often.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear nyob

      I think your PiHole and uBlock are not doing their job as I can access that site without any prompts.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Dear nyob

      I stopped using Marmiton for that exact reason - a shame as the recipes are good.

    3. Justthefacts Silver badge

      Re: Dear nyob

      Seems exceptionally reasonable to me. What are you complaining about?

      They’ve been giving you free stuff, and can’t afford to provide it without payment any more. Either you pay for your recipe, or no more freebies for you. And you’re complaining about that?! WTAF.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Dear nyob

        The issue there is you should be able to access the site without accepting the cookies, and then get non-targeted ads.

        1. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Dear Nyob

          Why?! It’s their website, not yours. If they don’t want you accessing it, they don’t have to let you in. It’s not up to you to dictate their terms of business.

          Look, people like to pretend that this situation is all-new to humanity, but it really isn’t. If I go to a builder and get a quote for remodelling my house, that’s one price. But quite possibly they offer me £5k off, if I agree to have photos of the work as their publicity photos, and allow future prospective clients around to see the work in detail. Now, a lot of people don’t want photos of the interior of their house up for everyone to see on the internet, plus strangers in their house, for privacy reasons, and that’s fine. Then, don’t go for that option.

          But one thing the customer *can’t* say is “I want the work done at the cheaper price, but no photos or strangers in my house”. In fact, you know what will happen if you say that to a builder? They won’t negotiate. They’ll just walk away. Now they don’t want the work at *any* price. Because you’ve just proved you’re not a customer, you’re a timewaster.

          You wouldn’t dare try it on with a builder, because they’re larger and scarier than you are. Why would you expect anything else from any other business who owes you nothing?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dear Nyob

            Because it's the law.

            Just like they your "builder" couldn't refuse to do work for someone just because they're black.

            1. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Re: Dear Nyob

              You’re just being silly. The Ts and Cs of contract are an agreement between seller and buyer. If they can’t agree, then there is no sale. There are some protected circumstances, but the buyer not wanting to agree to the Ts and Cs, is not one of them.

    4. Justthefacts Silver badge

      Re: Dear nyob

      Just in case it’s not clear: “I’m not paying for a recipe”. Then get it from someone else who is prepared to give you it for free. If you can, well done you, although begging for free Smarties at Halloween is something you should have grown out of forty years ago. Otherwise, buy a recipe book (for money). Or invent your own recipe. I hear those mushrooms down the bottom of the garden make really good soup. Either way, this a “You Problem”, not a “Them Problem”.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Dear nyob

        "Either way, this a “You Problem”, not a “Them Problem”."

        And thinking like that is why this sort of thing continues. It should be perfectly possible to get the same amount of embedded advertising that isn't trying to profile me and isn't dumping lots of cookies on me in order to do so. You'll note that their stuff isn't behind a paywall, it's openly available for people to read. Only, with the caveat that you must either accept cookies or subscribe (which perhaps ought to give a clue as to the value of the advertising/tracking).

        Specifically: Aux termes du considérant 42 du RGPD, qui éclaire l’exigence de liberté du consentement posée par son article 4, « le consentement ne devrait pas être considéré comme ayant été donné librement si la personne concernée ne dispose pas d'une véritable liberté de choix ou n'est pas en mesure de refuser ou de retirer son consentement sans subir de préjudice ».

        For those who don't read French, Google makes that: Under the terms of recital 42 of the GDPR, which clarifies the requirement of freedom of consent set out in Article 4, “consent should not be considered to have been given freely if the person concerned does not have genuine freedom of choice or is unable to refuse or withdraw consent without suffering detriment .”

        Given a choice of accepting all of the tracking cookies or subscribing is not a free choice, therefore one cannot conclude that consent has been given. Thus, I'm inclined to agree with Anon below that this is not legal, but IANAL...

        1. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Dear nyob

          Why? You do understand that you aren’t a customer for them, right? You aren’t paying them money, they have no duty to do anything for you. And even if you offer them money, no seller is under any requirement to sell to you. They can turn away the order, unless it’s for a very few protected reasons. So, you’re a timewaster, not a customer, you have no relationship at all with them. But you think you have a right to tell them the Terms and Conditions on which they sell?!

          “It should be perfectly possible”. But is it economic? Are you suddenly an expert on ad pricing, and recipe website businesses? I do know that the market price to show an untargeted ad is teeny-tiny, relative to a targeted ad. Because the conversion rate is so low, no advertiser would want such a slot, I reckon you’ll be lucky to score even 2% of the price per impression. Anyway, if that’s what you want to do, then *start your own recipe website*. Nobody is stopping you. Compete in the marketplace, see if your economics stack up. There could be a major gap in the market for privacy-obsessed recipe hounds, and then you’ll make a million, what do I know. Good luck. But you can’t tell *somebody else* what Ts and Cs you demand them to sell to you on. That’s just crazy talk.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear nyob

      and that second part is illegal if I am not mistaken.

      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Re: Dear nyob

        That second part being “if you offer them money, they are under an obligation to sell”?

        Indeed you are mistaken: displaying or advertising goods for sale does not legally count as “offering for sale”. It is “invitation to treat”. The seller does not enter into a contract with the buyer until the buyer responds to the invitation by making an offer and the seller accepts it (or not). That’s British law anyway.

  9. Detective Emil

    Better to subscribe to …

    You could be an over-enthusiastic Gold Supporting Member for what FB wants. (Baser metals come cheaper.)

    Or just lob them a bung from time to time, which requires you to give them almost no personal data.

  10. Oh Homer

    Cambridge Analytica

    Yes, remember them?

    People seem to have very short memories.

    I dumped Facebook the moment I realised it was being used by Farage and various other highly dubious interests, from places as far afield as the US and Saudi, as a tool to sabotage the EU and line their own pockets.

    The fact that they subsequently won, and got away with it scot free, did not exactly improve my opinion of them.

    There was a tsunami of outrage, then ... silence. Followed by amnesia, apparently.

    Why the hell is anybody still using Facebook?


    1. Rich 2 Silver badge

      Re: Cambridge Analytica

      “ Why the hell is anybody still using Facebook?”

      An excellent question. And I’m buggered if I can work it out. The best answer I can come up with is that people are, on the whole, really fucking stupid

  11. Snowy Silver badge

    Not on FB

    I bet they still have information on me and I'm sure I did not give them any permission to collect or store it!!

    1. simfin

      Re: Not on FB

      Do you use WhatsApp ?

      1. RegW

        Re: Not on FB


        Unfortunately I installed it once because it was the only video call app that my mother's funeral director would comtemplate. It wouldn't work without access to my contacts list, so I carefully deleted everyone before giving permission. Friends were aware within minutes that I had signed up, because (of course) my number was in their contacts, and FB published it to the world without my permission. "What? - I thought you said you would never use WhatsApp!"

        I deleted it within minutes of the call, but the damage was done. Oh the shame of it.

      2. Snowy Silver badge

        Re: Not on FB

        Do you use the internet?

        Edit: In theory WhatsApp and FB does not share as much data as you think

  12. ghp

    Why y'all picking on little faecesbook? Ain't goegel just as bad? Check this here page's references to doubleclick. Why do all website designers add links to G,FB, Twatter and consorts on every page? Someone holding a gun to their head? Or because their readers wouldn't pay otherwise?

  13. LybsterRoy Silver badge

    Just reading the comments, being a non Facebook user) I can agree with the desire for privacy but I'm baffled by the attitude that things should be for free. Maybe that's what's generating the wave of shoplifting?

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      "Maybe that's what's generating the wave of shoplifting?"

      Citation Needed...

      (Ps Any references to Social Media, Wikipedia, or the Daily Mail will require the poster to smack themselves in the Head repeatedly, until they are able to understand the difference between actual sources and the wretched Hives of Scum and Villainy that the others represent...)

    2. Mark #255

      "I should not be tracked" =/= "This website should be free"

      The heart of the complaint is that Meta is tracking people, and offers to not do it for a fee; not that charging for a service provided is wrong.

      Meta are absolutely within their rights to offer an ad-free experience with a subscription; but that should not be tied to the tracking of their users

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm going to follow you around. At work, on the train, on the way home. Pay me, and I'll stop.

  14. AlwaysInquisitive

    Full credit to Meta here as they've outplayed the EU. They've put the option in front of customers - pay or allow us to use your data. I'll assume the price they're charging isn't just for one person either - they've modelled how many people they'll lose as subscribers if everyone went that route. And if most people select the option for Meta to use their data, they've just been vindicated that people are willing to accept that trade-off.

    1. sketharaman

      Well said. Meta / Facebook is a private sector company. It's under no obligation towards fundamental rights, which are obligations only on public bodies. Users are not entitled to Facebook. As the last line of the article says, they can always quit Facebook.

    2. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Obvious next steps

      Facebook will soon realize that the worse the ads are, the more people will pay!

      We all know where this is going

  15. Ken G Silver badge

    I've been waiting for this case

    I use one Meta product, as a friend refuses to use anything else, and it's been nagging me for the last month. So far I've bypassed it's pop-ups because I am neither willing to subscribe nor to give consent. I believe if this isn't a GDPR breach then the whole Directive is pointless. Let's say next time it's a bank, can we share your data or do you want to pay fees to use cash machines? or a hospital trust, do you want to share your medical history with our insurance partners or do you want to go to the back of the queue?

  16. Herring`

    I haven't quit yet

    But I haven't looked at FB for weeks. It no longer shows me friends/family stuff or interesting things from groups. It shows me suggestions for shit I have no interest in. Classic enshittification, but how far does it have to go before it offers users no utility at all?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I haven't quit yet

      Same as Twitter, sorry 'X'.... its now just garbage and a stream of junk rather than my friends and people I follow. I only go into that site when a friend sends me a post and the author isn't on another social media stream. I found recently that I have to be logged in or I can't even see the replies/ comments. For nice , non doom scrolling, I'm on Mastodon.

  17. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    "Or one could just uninstall Facebook, delete one's account, and walk away from the whole mess."

    This is, surely, the correct approach.

    The proposed litigation amounts to "I'm going to use your service, you're not going to make any money out of my doing so, and I'll sue you if you try."

    Facebook, for all I despise them, is a business that exists to make money. Why should they provide a service, for want of a better word, to people who won't make them any money? The entitled arrogance of folks who think they have a right to use something without payment, either in cash or in kind, is staggering. If you don't like the way Facebook operates, and I can well see why you wouldn't, don't bloody use it!

    But, I can already hear them whine, all the people I want to talk to are on Facebook. That is not Facebook's problem. Facebook doesn't prevent you from talking to them in a variety of other ways, including but not limited to email, txt and phone calls. Nor is it your problem. If your contacts are dumb enough to use Facebook, perhaps you should be looking for smarter contacts.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I couldn't make sense of it

    I went on to Facebook's legal page and followed their link to the court preliminary judgment which they claim says it's OK to charge a subscription fee as a valid form of consent, and I couldn't find anything in that legal document that says it's OK to charge a subscription fee as a valid form of consent.

    I wish they say which paragraph numbers to look at at least.

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