The European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the EU’s data regulator, announced Wednesday it adopted an urgent binding decision banning Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, from processing user personal data for behavioral advertising across the European Economic Area (EEA) until further notice. The move follows a request from Norway that the EU take action as a final measure. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilysnet) previously adopted a temporary ban against Meta on September 7.
The EDPB stated the urgent binding decision is intended to protect the privacy rights of Meta’s approximately 250 million users within the region, including all members of the EU and the EEA. The decision was formally adopted on October 27, with Irish authorities informing Meta of the decision on Tuesday. EDPB Chair Anu Talus concluded, “It is high time for Meta to bring its processing into compliance and to stop unlawful processing.”
This follows a Norweigan lawsuit from September, which found that Meta had used user data such as location and browser history for behavioral advertising. In May, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) also concluded that Meta mishandled EU user data. As a result of that finding, Meta was fined €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) and subject to another binding decision. Meta can no longer treat terms and conditions acceptances from users as consent to personal advertising.
Irish authorities at the DPC will be responsible for finalizing the most recent EU measures against Meta within the next two weeks. A week after that, the decision will officially come into force.