Meta’s Paid Subscription Version Hit By Austrian Privacy Complaint

The question of whether or not social media companies should be allowed to collect user data has been raging for quite some time now. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it appears that most social media platforms are trying to figure out a way go to ad free at least to a certain extent. They are mostly doing this by offering ad-free paid subscriptions to users, with Meta experimenting with this in European markets earlier this month.

The purpose behind this was to find a way to offer services while still complying with GDPR. This regulation strongly restricts the collection of user data, making it harder for Meta to operate on an ad based model than might have been the case otherwise. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this experiment has already experienced its first hurdle. It turns out that a privacy complaint against Meta has been filed at an Austrian court.

This complaint was filed by the advocacy group NOYB. It argues that since Meta is charging nearly 9.99 euros for web users and 12.99 euros for Android and iOS users, this is tantamount to asking people to pay for privacy. Their main point is that Meta should comply with GDPR and allow users to select whether or not they want to take part in data tracking, and that forcing them to pay a fee is a way to circumvent the regulation as opposed to actually doing something to adhere to it.

Meta’s own view is that asking people to pay is a form of allowing them to consent, since they can choose to use the ad supported free version if they don’t want to pay a monthly fee. However, NOYB has also asserted that the fees are far too high with all things having been considered and taken into account.
According to their data, 97% of users don’t want to be tracked, but 99% won’t exercise their right if they have to pay a fee for it. The fallout from this case will be pertinent because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up determining the direction in which the industry might be headed, and it will impact Meta’s future as well.

Read next: Top Whistleblower Makes Explosive Revelations Dubbed CTIL Files Regarding Secret Anti-Disinformation Group Created For Censorship Purposes
Previous Post Next Post