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  • Writer's pictureSamiksha Jain

Meta's Major Price Drop Explained!


Meta Platforms, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, has recently announced they're reducing the monthly fee for their no-ads subscription in Europe. Originally, this subscription cost 9.99 euros, but it's going down to 5.99 euros. This subscription model was introduced to give users the option not to have personalized ads, which means Meta wouldn't collect data on these users' activities to target ads at them. This move came after the European Union introduced new rules (under something called the Digital Markets Act or DMA) that limit how companies like Meta can use personal data for ads without user consent.

There's been a lot of talk about whether charging users for privacy is fair. Some people argued that making users pay not to be tracked for ads was against the idea of privacy being a fundamental right. Critics, including privacy activists, didn't like that users had to pay to protect their privacy, saying it should be free.

Meta's decision to lower the price is partly to make the subscription more appealing and partly in response to these criticisms. They're trying to find a balance between following the new EU rules and keeping their services running. Meta's lawyer mentioned that this new price is quite reasonable for the quality of services users get without ads. However, there's still debate about whether this approach of "pay or agree to be tracked" is right or fair.

Max Schrems, a well-known privacy activist, pointed out that the problem isn't just about how much the fee is. He argues that when faced with the choice, almost everyone will just agree to the tracking instead of paying, not really because they're okay with it but because it's the easier or cheaper option. He says this doesn't truly reflect free choice, which is what privacy laws like GDPR in the EU aim to protect.

This whole situation is part of a bigger conversation on how big tech companies handle user data, privacy, and advertising. Meta has started discussing this price change with regulators, particularly in Ireland, as they work through these new regulations. The outcome of these discussions might set a precedent for how digital services can balance user privacy with advertising in the future.


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