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Jurist Online privacy NGO files complaint against Meta’s paid no-ad subscription service

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Nov 11, 2016
An NGO dedicated to protecting online privacy rights filed a complaint Tuesday against Meta’s paid no-ad subscription service. Meta’s service prevents individual data from reaching advertising companies on their websites, for a fee of up to 251 euros. Otherwise, users can “consent” to continue to use the site with ads.

The NGO that filed the complaint against Meta is called NOYB, which stands for “None of Your Business.” According to NOYB, privacy is a fundamental right under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR protects a “right to respect” the private and home life and individuals. This right extends to online communications.

NOYB says that the “unacceptable” fee from Meta for the privilege of retaining this right could encourage other websites to create similar subscription services. Not only would this be a major threat to the right to privacy, it would also make the cost of going online extremely expensive.

As a challenge to the service, which NOYB calls “Pay or Okay,” the NGO filed a complaint with the Austrian data protection authority. While NOYB calls “Pay or Okay” an attempt to “circumvent EU privacy laws,” Meta says that personalized ads are a fundamental part of online usership. They say that the collected information allows not just large corporations, but small businesses to reach their customers. Meta also says that opting out of the subscription service is sufficient “consent” for the purposes of EU law.

This is not the first time NOYB and Meta have come head to head. In 2018, NOYB filed a complaint against Meta for forcing their users to consent to data collection if they wanted to use Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. In January, the European Data Protection Board fined Meta for violations of user privacy rights, in the sum of 390 million euros. Meta has also been fighting legal action in the US for “purposely designing social media platforms to attract children.”

The post Online privacy NGO files complaint against Meta’s paid no-ad subscription service appeared first on JURIST - News.

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