clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Facebook under fire from European Union over targeted advertising

New, 16 comments

The European Commission plans to introduce a directive in early 2012 that will prevent Facebook from targeting ads to users unless they explicitly opt in.

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

facebook app for iphone
facebook app for iphone

Facebook's behaviorally targeted advertising is drawing the ire of the European Commission, the governing body of the European Union. The Telegraph reports that the EC is planning to introduce a directive next year that will prevent Facebook from targeting ads at users based on their Facebook content unless the user explicitly allows it; Facebook could face fines or legal action if it doesn't comply with this directive. Despite Facebook's claims that user-level data is not shared with advertisers and that advertisers can't directly market to individual Facebook users, the EC believes that social media companies like Facebook should be more transparent about what is done with user data and that consumers have a right to know exactly how their data is analyzed and used. Targeted advertising is now Facebook's lifeblood, so it'll be interesting to see what, if any, changes Facebook is forced to make next year as it prepares for its long-awaited IPO next year.