Meta Hit with $414 Million Fine in EU for Requiring Personalized Ads

The company has been hit with a €390 million (about $414 million) penalty after EU authorities determined that Meta illegally required Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users to accept personalized ads in order to use the platforms. This allegedly violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by asking for permission to collect ad targeting data in the terms of service. Meta has said that it is “disappointed” by the ruling and plans to appeal the findings, as it believes its current approach “respects” the GDPR.

This isn’t the first time Meta has faced fines from the EU. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which regulates Meta’s EU activity, has issued several penalties to the company in the past year and a half. In September, the DPC fined Meta €105 million ($402 million) over Instagram’s child privacy settings, and in November, it issued a €265 million ($277 million) penalty for reportedly failing to protect users against data scraping. It remains to be seen whether Meta will be able to successfully appeal this latest ruling, but if it loses, it could potentially lose a significant amount of revenue as people see fewer personalized ads that they are likely to click on.