Targeting Deadline Passes in EU

Remember this? On November 1, everyone panicked because of this headline: “Facebook owner Meta faces EU ban on targeted advertising.”

The article went on to say…

The European data regulator has agreed to extend a ban on Facebook and Instagram to cover all 30 countries in the European Union.

And when would this go into effect?

The decision by the EDPB is an instruction to the data regulator of Ireland to impose a permanent ban on the company’s use of behavioral advertising within two weeks.

We saw this everywhere. Targeting apocalypse in two weeks! Two weeks from when?

On October 27, the EDPB adopted an urgent binding decision to impose a ban on the processing of personal data for behavioral advertising.

Two weeks from October 27 was November 10. Today is November 19, so has behavioral targeting been banned?

No. No, it has not.

Or, to put it another way, Meta ad targeting still functions as it always has in the EU.

I said it then when this news came out, and I’ll say it again: This is spin. It’s a staring contest between the regulators and Meta.

Meta clearly believes that offering a paid, ad-free subscription option in the EU satisfies their obligations. And since this deadline passed without any hiccups or word otherwise, that seems to be the case — for now.

No targeting apocalypse in the EU yet, at least. But, we haven’t heard the last of this. Stay tuned.