Privacy rights group Noyb files new complaint against Meta

Noyb filed complaint against Meta with Austrian DPA, alleging €251.88 subscription for non-tracking consent on Instagram/Facebook violates GDPR

A person's hand holding Meta's infinite sign.

The Austrian privacy rights group Noyb filed a supporting complaint with the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DPA) against Meta regarding its policy that requires users on Instagram and Facebook to pay a €251.88 annual subscription when they do not consent to being tracked. Namely, Noyb accused Meta of such an action, claiming it illegal under Article 7 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as withdrawing consent should be as ‘easy as giving it.’ Therefore, Noyb requested the authority to declare the violation of Article 7(3) GDPR by not making it as easy to withdraw consent as it was to give it.

Why does it matter?

Meta has been facing complaints and has received fines regarding its GDPR compliance in 2023, which seems to continue to happen in 2024 as well. This is a follow-up complaint to the one Noyb filed in November 2023 against Meta’s privacy subscription approach. As TechCrunch mentioned in the Austrian DPA FAQ, while paying for access to a website can be considered consent, it must comply with the GDPR. At the same time, the absence of case law from the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) would potentially leave room for interpretation. Considering that the complaints will be reviewed by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is Meta’s lead data supervisor, it depends on whether they will shift Meta’s approach.