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Facebook is finally letting users opt out of tracking, but there's a catch

Meta is reportedly making it difficult for users to opt out.

Published onMarch 30, 2023

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  • Users will be able to opt out of Facebook and Instagram user-tracking, but only in the EU.
  • The reason is due to the EU regulators forcing Meta’s hand.
  • Meta is reportedly making it difficult for users to opt out.

The day has finally come, Meta is allowing users to opt out of tracking on its platforms. But before you get too excited, there are some caveats to be aware of.

After being fined multiple times by European Union (EU) regulators for a total of over $400 million, Meta is making a change to its tracking practices. At first, Meta threatened to remove its Facebook and Instagram apps from the European market, but that bluff died on the vine. Now the company has found a new solution; allow users to opt out of tracking, but only in the EU.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta will allow EU users to avoid tracking on its platforms starting Wednesday. These users will be able “to choose a version of its services that would only target them with ads based on broad categories, such as their age range and general location—without using, as it does now, data such as what videos they watch or content they click on inside Meta’s apps.”

While that sounds all well and good on the surface, it appears Meta plans to make the process of opting out a headache. Based on WSJ’s report, EU users who want to opt out will have to submit “an online form objecting to Meta’s use of their in-app activity for ads.” From there, Meta will evaluate the submission and decide whether to implement the change.

Although the EU’s privacy laws are compelling Meta to change its tracking practices, it appears the company won’t give it up without a fight.

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