The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) this week issued an urgent binding decision ordering Meta Ireland Limited (Meta IE) to cease processing personal data for behavioral advertising purposes on the basis of contract and legitimate interest throughout the entire European Economic Area (EEA).
This decision follows a request from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (NO DPA) in September, which had previously imposed a temporary ban on Meta's behavioral advertising practices in Norway.
The EDPB's decision stems from its finding that Meta has been using the legal bases of contract and legitimate interest inappropriately for its behavioral advertising practices. The EDPB also concluded that Meta has not demonstrated compliance with previous orders imposed by data protection authorities (DPAs) to cease these practices.
The EDPB invoked Article 66 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which allows for urgent measures to be taken in cases of serious and irreparable harm to data subjects. The Board determined that the regular cooperation mechanisms under the GDPR could not be applied in this case due to the urgency of the situation.
The EDPB's decision is binding on Meta IE and must be implemented immediately. Meta is required to cease all processing of personal data for behavioral advertising purposes in the EEA that is based on contract or legitimate interest.
The decision is likely to have a significant impact on Meta's user base in the EEA. Users may experience changes in the types of advertisements they see across Meta's various platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.