NIX Solutions: Meta Faces GDPR Complaints from BEUC

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) has disclosed that eight members recently lodged formal complaints against Meta with national data protection authorities.

Human rights activists raise alarms, contending that Meta’s data collection practices go beyond acceptable bounds. Users’ personal information, including sensitive details like sexual orientation and emotional states, is allegedly amassed without explicit consent. This controversial approach has led to concerns that Meta might be infringing upon the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a pivotal framework governing the collection and processing of citizens’ personal data in Europe.

NIX Solutions

Meta’s Firm Denial and GDPR Adherence Claims

In response to the allegations, Meta staunchly denies any wrongdoing, asserting a robust commitment to GDPR compliance. A spokesperson emphasizes the company’s dedication to privacy, citing the revision of their privacy policy since 2019. They maintain an ongoing collaboration with regulators, officials, and experts to ensure that their services align with best practices and adhere to elevated data protection standards.

Past Penalties and Ongoing Challenges

This development follows a significant penalty imposed on Meta by European authorities last year, amounting to €1.2 billion for GDPR violations. These violations were related to the transfer of Facebook user data to servers in the United States, marking the most substantial penalty issued in the region since the GDPR’s enforcement in 2018. Notably, in October, Meta was directed to explicitly seek user consent for processing personal information for targeted advertising.

In response to such directives, Meta introduced subscription plans for European users, starting at €9.99 per month, promising an ad-free experience on Facebook and Instagram. However, BEUC contends that this offering is an “unfair and misleading choice” due to Meta’s perceived lack of transparency in data processing mechanisms, adds NIX Solutions.

Ongoing Critique: Transparency and Market Dominance

BEUC argues that Meta’s market dominance in social media inhibits users from freely disengaging from its platforms without severing ties with family and friends. The organization questions the efficacy of Meta’s subscription model in ensuring GDPR compliance, stating that the company’s data processing mechanisms remain opaque.