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Norway Blocks Meta’s Targeted Ads That Don’t Get User Permission

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Meta, the company that operates Facebook and Instagram, is facing a temporary ban on its behavioral advertising in Norway, mandated by the country’s data protection authority, the Datatilsynet. This injunction lasts for an initial period of three months and requires Meta to procure users’ consent for data processing.

Although Meta can run other targeted advertising forms like contextual targeting, not dependent on tracking and profiling users, it is warned to either obtain user consent for behavioral advertising or face daily fines of up to one million NOK (approximately $100,000).

According to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, Meta’s practices are deemed illegal, which has resulted in this temporary behavioral advertising ban. The urgency of this case is based on Meta’s disregard for a previous decision and judgment against them, as well as concerns about the infringement on data protection rights of the Norwegian populace.

In response to the ban, Meta pointed out the ongoing “debate” around legal bases, despite the recent CJEU ruling and maintained that it continues to engage with the Irish DPC for regulatory compliance. The company, however, did not confirm whether it would appeal against the order or modify its operations on Facebook and Instagram in Norway.

Meta’s switch to claiming legitimate interests (LI) to process user data for behavioral advertising requires offering EU users a way to object to such processing, indicating the feasibility of a less intrusive form of ad targeting.

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