Facebook Says Users Must Accept Targeted Ads Even Under EU Law Which Could Lead To People Deciding To #DeleteFacebook

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in the EU on May 25. Facebook is one of many companies who need to comply with this law. And they’re claiming that they’re doing their best to do so. However, this little tidbit popped up today via Reuters. You see, one of the facets of GDPR is that people who use services like Facebook must opt into the use of those services. In other words, the concept of being forced to use something and having to opt out if you don’t isn’t allowed. Which makes this tidbit a bit eyebrow raising:

Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman said the social network would begin seeking Europeans’ permission this week for a variety of ways Facebook uses their data, but he said that opting out of targeted marketing altogether would not be possible.

Facebook users will be able to limit the kinds of data that advertisers use to target their pitches, he added, but “all ads on Facebook are targeted to some extent, and that’s true for offline advertising, as well.”

Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, will use what are known as “permission screens” – pages filled with text that require pressing a button to advance – to notify and obtain approval.

The screens will show up on the Facebook website and smartphone app in Europe this week and globally in the coming months, Sherman said.

The screens will not give Facebook users the option to hit “decline.” Instead, they will guide users to either “accept and continue” or “manage data setting,” according to copies the company showed reporters on Tuesday.

“People can choose to not be on Facebook if they want,” Sherman said.

So, basically EU users will have to consent to targeted ads or be forced to #DeleteFacebook. I’m pretty sure that this is a tactic to try and force the EU to allow their present business model to continue as there’s no technical reason why whey can’t allow people to opt into having targeted ads displayed to them.

Good luck with that.

I’m going to suggest that a healthy amount of privacy minded EU users will simply join team #DeleteFacebook rather than submit to this. And Facebook may be forced to rethink this and adjust their strategy accordingly. Thus it might be wise if Facebook rethinks this now to avoid their user base in the EU dropping rapidly.

 

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