Behavioral Targeting Ban in EU

We need to talk about this…

If you’re an advertiser, you’ve probably seen an article recently about how Meta will be banned from behavioral targeting in the European Union within two weeks. I’ve had so many people send it to me.

It sounds scary, and maybe there’s reason for concern. But it’s really tough to say for sure because it also feels like we aren’t getting all of the info.

These articles say that the European data regulator will extend its ban on Facebook and Instagram, preventing those apps from using behavioral advertising within two weeks. That’s quick!

What’s weird is that Meta just announced a paid, ad-free subscription option to users in the EU last week. They specifically said that this was in response to these regulations and that the option would result in consent.

This feels like a staring contest, and we’re waiting for someone to blink.

It would be weird if Meta announced subscriptions without getting legal clearance first. And they have a huge legal team that would have looked over that announcement.

What’s going to happen within two weeks? Tough to say. But I’m willing to bet it’s unrealistic to expect Meta will be able to easily shut down behavior targeting without a major disruption in that time.

The European Union is an area we need to watch when it comes to behavior targeting and privacy laws. But I’d be surprised if there’s some targeting apocalypse in two weeks.

I’m no legal expert, but it certainly sounds like Meta was in the process of getting this ironed out. We’ll see, but this obviously will have broader impact than just the EU.

What do you think?