No bullsh*t opt-out: free noyb tool for quick and broad Facebook objections!

Forced Consent & Consent Bypass
 /  04 April 2023
meta opt out

No bullsh*t opt-out: Free noyb tool for quick and broad Facebook objections is now online!

As reported last week, Meta switched the legal basis for targeting advertising from one illegal practice to the next: Instead of giving users a yes / no option ("consent") as foreseen by the GDPR, Meta now (unlawfully) claims to have ‘legitimate interest’ in tracking users and allows for an "opt-out" via the most complicated online form imaginable. Therefore, noyb built a tool for users to opt out of targeted advertising and various other claims made by Meta in an easy and legally sound way.

Facebook's form from hell. Even if relying on a 'legitimate interest' would be lawful, exercising GDPR rights must be simple and easy. Instead of providing a simple "switch" or button to opt-out, Meta requires users to fill out a hidden form. In this form users have to argue why they want to perform an opt-out. Users have to identify each purpose for which Meta argues a 'legitimate interest' and then explain why Meta's assessment - which is not public - was wrong in their individual case. It is highly unlikely that any normal user would be able to argue these points effectively.

Max Schrems: "These moves by Facebook are just laughable and embarrassing. You have to find each element in their privacy policy that you disagree with and explain why Meta's assessment is wrong in your individual case. Their assessment, however, is not published. It's not far from saying you can only opt-out ever second Monday from 8am to 9am."

Free and simple noyb alternative for broad opt out. While noyb will be filing legal action against Meta’s new legal basis for processing data, we have also created a quick and easy way for users to object to the processing in a broad way. noyb’s free opt-out tool allows users to opt-out of any processing under „legitimate interest“ and generally objects to the use of personal data for targeted ads. While our tool gives users the opportunity to broadly opt out, Meta would have to argue why the broad opt-out went too far. This puts the need to argue legal details from the users to Meta. Meta has to deal with the objection without undue delay but in any event within one month.

Max Schrems: "Our form turns the table: Meta has to argue why they have an overriding interest - not the user. Users can now opt out of data processing, and Facebook must process this objection without delay. We want to make it as easy as possible for those affected to exercise their fundamental rights."

Background: Switch from one unlawful basis to the next. The GDPR allows the processing of personal data if a company complies with one of the six legal bases in Article 6(1) GDPR. Most of these six options, however, are irrelevant for advertising. While most companies require users to consent ("opt-in") for the use of personal data for advertising, Meta (Facebook and Instagram) has tried to bypass this requirement by arguing that the use of personal data for ads is "necessary under the contract" with them, when the GDPR became applicable in 2018. noyb instantly filed a series of complaints and ultimately won them before the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) in December 2022. Meta had until April to stop the practice.

While Meta announced that they would be giving in to the pressure by noyb, they now try to argue the next unlawful option, claiming that their "legitimate interest" to process user data would override the fundamental right to privacy and data protection of users. This has also been tried by other companies, but was rejected by regulators multiple times (see e.g. the Italian DPA on TikTok or the Belgian DPA on the IAB TCF at para 441).

Max Schrems: "Meta moves from one unlawful option to the next. Meta basically argues that their interest in maximizing profits through profiling and tracking outweighs the fundamental rights of users. Several companies have already tried this approach and have been reprimanded by the authorities."