- Meta launches ad-free subscription in EU; €9.99/month for web, €12.99/month for mobile.
- NOYB challenges Meta’s model, citing EU consent law violations.
- Meta defends subscription, claims EU regulation compliance.
- Concerns over potential industry-wide impact of Meta’s fee model.
Meta’s recent introduction of a paid subscription so that users can browse the company’s services ad-free experience, is now under regulatory eyeballs in the EU.
The service, priced at €9.99 per month for web users and €12.99 for iOS and Android users, is positioned as a compliance measure with EU data protection regulations, offering users a choice between ad-supported services and a paid ad-free experience.
However, things are not going to plan for Meta.
Controversy Over the Subscription Model
The digital rights group NOYB (None Of Your Business) has raised serious concerns about Meta’s subscription service, leading to a complaint with the Austrian regulator.
Felix Mikolasch, a data protection lawyer at NOYB, stated that charging up to €250 per year for data protection violates the EU law that mandates consent as a genuine free choice.
This stance taken by NOYB positions the ‘meta privacy fee’ as a contentious issue, possibly setting a precedent that could impact the broader tech industry.
Meta’s Response and Industry Implications
In response to the criticism, Meta defended its subscription model, asserting that it complies with European regulations while providing users with a choice.
The company emphasized that the pricing is in line with similar offerings in Europe and strikes a balance between regulatory compliance and user preference.
However, NOYB’s warning about the broader industry impact of such a fee model is significant.
They cautioned that if Meta’s approach is accepted, other companies might follow suit, potentially leading to substantial annual costs for users who wish to maintain privacy across their devices.
What is Meta’s new paid subscription service in the EU?
Meta has launched a paid subscription service in the EU, allowing users to browse ad-free for €9.99/month on web and €12.99/month on iOS and Android. This service is positioned as a compliance measure with EU data protection regulations, offering an alternative to ad-supported browsing.
Why is NOYB challenging Meta’s subscription model?
NOYB, a digital rights group, has filed a complaint with the Austrian regulator, arguing that Meta’s subscription fee essentially charges users for privacy. They claim this contradicts EU law, which requires genuine free user consent, and could set a concerning industry precedent.
How has Meta responded to the criticism of its subscription model?
Meta defends its subscription model by stating it aligns with European regulations and provides users with a choice between ad-supported and ad-free experiences. The company emphasizes that their pricing structure is consistent with similar services in Europe.