Meta may face problems due to the recent introduction of paid ad-free subscriptions on Facebook and Instagram for European Union users, reports Reuters.
The company announced this service last month. The cost of a subscription is about 9.99 euros per month on the web or 12.99 euros on iOS and Android. The subscription will be available to people aged 18 and older in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland.
Its introduction has been called a way for Meta to avoid conflicts with European regulators over data privacy, as social media advertising is based on the analysis of user data.
Along with the paid service, Meta also maintains free access to its platforms for people who do not want to pay for an ad-free subscription.
But not everyone likes such actions of the company. The advocacy group NOYB filed a complaint with the Austrian Data Protection Authority over Meta’s paid subscription. They disagree with the concept of Meta and equate the service to a privacy fee.
“EU law requires that consent is the genuine free will of the user. Contrary to this law, Meta charges a ‘privacy fee’ of up to 250 euros per year if anyone dares to exercise their fundamental right to data protection,” stated in NOYB.
NOYB also criticized the cost of the service and warned that if the company gets away with it, competitors will soon follow suit.
The group is therefore calling on the Austrian authority to initiate an expedited process to stop Meta’s actions and to impose a fine on the company. The complaint is likely to be referred to the Irish data protection supervisory authority, which oversees Meta’s activities.