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Meta Considers A Pay For Privacy Plan For Facebook, Instagram

Meta is considering introducing paid versions of Facebook in Europe that are ad free, The New York Times reports.

The proposed new paid versions would be available in the European Union where the tech giants face scrutiny over their data collection practices.

The rationale for the move is that Meta would not need to collect the personal data of users where they don’t need to serve personally tailored ads.

The downside is that Meta would cease to collect data from potentially millions of European users worth billions of dollars.

Meta and TikTok already have confirmed they’ll drop advertising in Europe that is not personalised and only serve non-personalised ads.

The moves have been sparked by the introduction of Europe’s Digital Services Act which was first proposed in 2020 but being implemented now.

Europe’s move to require social media giants to divulge details of their algorithms and moderation practices have seen them run for cover and introduce changes to avoid some disclosures.

Section 14(1) says providers must include information on measures and tools for content moderation, and algorithm decision-making in their terms and conditions.

Providers also must “set out in their terms and conditions ‘the main parameters used in their recommender systems, as well as any options for the recipients of the service to modify or influence those main parameters’.”

While the rules apply in Europe alone, disclosures may provide insights in other markets of the general operation of their business around algorithms and advertising.

“The DSA (Digital Services Act) aims to end an era of in which tech companies have essentially regulated themselves – setting their own policies on how to moderate content, and issuing ‘transparency reports’ about their efforts to combat harms like disinformation that have been practically impossible for third parties to scrutinize,” Algorithm Watch reports.

“The DSA promises to change this status quo by forcing platforms to be more transparent about how their algorithmic systems work, and holding them to account for the societal risks stemming from the use of their services,” the website says.

European flags


Meta says European users can turn-off AI-recommended videos, and opt out of AI rankings and recommendations in Facebook and Instagram. Platforms will have to explain why they remove posts, and there are moves to restrict the targeting of children in advertising.

Australia is currently holding an inquiry into the impact of AI technology with big tech in Australia lobbying against the country adopting measures similar to those being implemented in Europe.

The European Union measures impacting 27 countries came into effect late last month.


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