Norwegian DPA temporarily bans behavioral advertising on Facebook and Instagram

Forced Consent & Consent Bypass
 /  17 July 2023
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Norwegian DPA temporarily bans behavioral advertising on Facebook and Instagram

Following a CJEU ruling that declared Meta/Facebook’s GDPR approach largely illegal, the Norwegian DPA (Datatilsynet) is the first national data protection authority declaring behavioral advertising on the company’s platforms Facebook and Instagram illegal. Datatilsynet imposes a temporary ban for the usage of said approach by Meta. noyb welcomes this decision as a first important step and hopes that other DPAs will follow.

Non-compliance may result in fine. Meta will be banned from using behavioral advertising from August 4th for at least three months or until the social media company can prove its compliance with Norwegian law. In case of non-compliance with the DPAs order, the authority threatens Meta with a fine of up to NOK 1 million (approx. € 88.697) per day.

Norway intervenes. The Norwegian DPA’s ban of behavioral advertising on Facebook and Instagram follows two noyb complaints from 2018 that resulted in a EDPB decision earlier this year. In addition to that, the CJEU ruling earlier this month clarified once more, that the company is not allowed to use personal data beyond what is strictly necessary to provide its core products. Based on those two landmark rulings and the lack of enforcement by the Irish DPC, the Norwegian DPA decided to intervene directly against Meta. Any data processing that goes beyond this requires freely given and fair consent by users.

Romain Robert, Program Director at noyb: "The decision of the Norwegian DPA is exciting. It clearly seems to be an attemt to bypass the Irish DPC, which wasn't enforcing its own decision against Meta 5 years after noyb's complaints."

An important first step. noyb welcomes the decision by the Norwegian DPA, as it is an important first step towards actual enforcement of the GDPR. We urge other DPAs to follow the example of their Norwegian colleagues.