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Austria: NOYB files complaint against Meta over 'pay or okay' subscription model

On November 28, 2023, none of your business (NOYB) announced that on the same date and on behalf of a complainant, it had filed a complaint against Meta Platforms Ireland Limited with the Austrian data protection authority (DSB), alleging that Meta's subscription model violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR).

What are the grounds for the complaint?

In particular, NOYB stated, among other things, that Meta adopted a 'pay or okay' subscription model that offers European users the option of either taking a subscription for its Facebook and Instagram accounts or agreeing to the use of personal data for showing personalized advertising. According to the complaint, Meta allegedly violated: 

  • the fundamental right to data protection of the complainant under Article 8 of the CFR by commercializing the fundamental right without legal basis;
  • Article 6(1) of the GDPR by processing the complainant's data without legal basis and without valid consent;
  • Article 7(4) of the GDPR by attempting to link the alleged consent of the complainant to the free user contract, without it being necessary; and
  • Article 5(1)(a) of the GDPR by unlawfully processing the complainant's data for the purpose of personalized advertising.

Finally, NYOB requested the DSB to initiate an urgent procedure and suggested it impose a deterrent fine on Meta to ensure no other company adopts this subscription model.

You can read the press release here and the complaint here