Meta to get consent before collecting data for targeted advertising in Europe

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Meta to get consent before collecting data for targeted advertising in Europe


Meta has offered to get consent from all users in Europe before collecting their data for targeted advertising purposes.

The company put forward the proposal in a bid to try and end a year-long dispute with the European Union over the legality of its targeted ad operations.

Although the changes could have a catastrophic impact on the effectiveness of its targeted ads, Meta has assured that marketers will still be able to promote personalised ad campaigns on the platform in Europe regardless.

Why we care. If a large number of people in Europe refuse to give permission for their data to be collected, Meta will receive fewer signals to identify their interests and behavioural patterns. Without this data, Meta won’t be able to build audiences for ads as effectively, making its targeted advertising operation weaker. This may result in marketers opting not to spend money to advertise on the platform, which may decrease the value of Meta’s ad space.

When is it happening? Meta has said that seeking consent would be a major obstacle and that the changes would take at least three months to implement. This means Meta could be required to ask permission to collect data from users in Europe from October.

However, Meta has also proposed waiting until early next to update its policy to coincide with changes to EU regulations.

An exact timeline is yet to be confirmed but we will keep you posted.

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Why now? Meta suggested updating its policy after meeting with Ireland’s Data Protection Commission – its lead privacy regulator. Following lengthy discussions with the commission, during which substantial guidance was offered, Meta proposed updating its consent policy to ensure it adhered to EU laws.

Deep dive. Read Meta’s privacy policy for more information on how the company collects and stores data.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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