Meta vows EU privacy tweak after massive fine
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Facebook owner Meta said on Thursday it would tweak how it collects data on users in Europe after it got fined for failing to ask for proper permission.
Tech firms like Meta and Google use data to serve up highly targeted ads, and they have struggled to comply with the strict rules of the EU's massive 2018 data privacy regulation (GDPR).
Meta was hit with a 390 million euro fine ($425 million) in December after it failed to convince regulators that gathering data to serve up tailored ads was a necessary part of its contract with users.
In an update to a blog post on Thursday, the firm said that from next Wednesday it would start relying on "legitimate interest", a part of the GDPR that can let companies sidestep the strictest rules.
However, campaign group NOYB, which has filed complaints against the tech giants across Europe, was unimpressed.
"Meta is switching one illegal practice for another illegal practice," said the campaign group's Max Schrems.
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Schrems said Meta's move was a "slight improvement" as it would allow European users of Facebook and Instagram to opt out of targeted advertising.
But he accused the firm of conducting an "absurd game" and promised to continue the legal fight.
Meta said it believed its justifications were legal under GDRP and stressed that it was business as usual.
"It is important to note that this legal change does not prevent personalised advertising on our platform, nor does it affect how advertisers, businesses or users experience our products," the firm said in its blog update.