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Meta in hot water again: EU ruling shakes company

TL;DR

  • The EU’s top court has ruled that regulators can probe Meta’s data use for advertising.
  • Meta must obtain user consent to use personal data for targeted ads.
  • The judgment could impact business models across the data economy.

The digital giant Meta finds itself in troubled waters once again as the European Union’s top court lays down a precedent-shattering ruling.

This judgment allows competition regulators to probe whether companies are complying with privacy rules, bringing Meta’s data usage for online advertising under the spotlight.

This latest development is a compelling narrative of technology, privacy, and the role of regulatory bodies in maintaining a fair digital marketplace.

Regulators to scrutinize Meta’s data use for advertising

Meta, renowned for its social media platform Facebook, experienced this EU verdict as a blow to its advertising strategies. The company’s use of personal data to tailor user ads has been under constant scrutiny.

The Court of Justice in Luxembourg has ruled that such usage cannot be justified unless the user’s consent has been given. These privacy regulations, which came into force in 2018, aim to safeguard citizens’ rights concerning their personal data usage by corporations.

This judgment could have ripple effects, potentially impacting business models across the data economy. It notably allows watchdogs to consider breaches of privacy rules in their investigations into tech groups’ anti-competitive practices.

This decision has been welcomed by the German Federal Cartel Office, which responded by acknowledging the potential “far-reaching” consequences on data-driven business models.

Privacy and competition law: A new battlefield

The Luxembourg court’s decision is a milestone in empowering antitrust regulators to challenge the business models of large tech companies like Meta and Google, based on how they handle the volumes of data they collect.

This ruling reaffirms the significance of data in today’s digital economy and its correlation to market power.

The president of the cartel office, Andreas Mundt, welcomed the judgment, stating that it “sends a strong signal for competition law enforcement in the digital economy.”

He also noted that the handling of users’ “very personal data” by significant internet companies could be considered “abusive” under competition law.

This verdict stems from Germany’s 2019 decision to prevent Facebook from integrating data from its platform with WhatsApp to target users with advertisements, unless they had explicit user consent.

This regulation was contested by Facebook, arguing the commingling of privacy law with antitrust rules. In June 2020, however, Germany’s highest civil court upheld the order, prompting Facebook to revise its data handling practices.

The ruling also underscored the need for closer cooperation between authorities. The court proposed a law that would allow regulators to share information about penalties at an earlier stage in investigations into privacy breaches.

This suggestion is particularly relevant following a recent dispute over the amount Meta should have been fined for privacy breaches by regulators.

In an era where data is becoming more integral to digital economies, this decision from the EU court sets a new standard. It highlights the need for tech companies to strike a balance between business innovation and user privacy.

The effects of this verdict on Meta and other tech giants will be significant, with the potential to reshape the digital landscape.

As the dust settles, the digital world watches with bated breath to see how Meta responds. Only time will reveal the long-term implications of this groundbreaking ruling on Meta and the digital ecosystem at large.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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