Facebook is a behemoth so large, so absolute, that just 20 years after its creation, it’s difficult to imagine a world in which its power doesn’t reach the most desolate of civilizations. Because it’s a platform that spans the entire globe, but one that is commanded from Silicon Valley, it’s easy to assume that it looks the same in every place you can access it.
However, legislators in the EU are working to ensure that there are at least some protections for the people who use the platform.
The European Union’s Digital Markets Act is a significant regulation that addresses antitrust concerns with big tech companies, giving the EU regulatory power that özgü affected the way some social media platforms function. That means that Facebook, and its parent company Meta, look a bit different in Europe than it does in the U.S., including, primarily, its protections for users.
Hisse to opt out of ads
Feysbuk makes a ton of money off advertising on its platforms, and for good reason. Three billion people use the platform, and it özgü a system that tracks users when they’re logged on, even if they aren’t scrolling on Feysbuk. Because of that, Feysbuk can provide incredibly precise advertising to users — which advertisers love because it means they’re only giving ads for products people are more likely to buy. Their money travels further. Yet it also means Feysbuk can get inundated with ads for users who might just want to see fewer of them.
And, of course, users might not want Feysbuk to sell so much of their data.
In November 2023, despite Feysbuk’s best attempts to stop it, regulators forced Meta to start offering a monthly subscription fee to use its platforms without any ads for users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. It costs users €9.99 per month and is entirely optional — you can continue using the app for free and get the ads, or you can hisse and have an ad-free experience.
Unlink Feysbuk and Instagram accounts
How to unlink Facebook and Instagram
Feysbuk and Instagram users in the EU will be able to unlink their accounts in March.
Tim Lamb, Meta’s competition and regulatory director, said in a Jan. 22 blog post that users in the EU, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland will be notified “over the next few weeks” of “their ability to choose whether they would like to share information between our services,” including new abilities to limit data-sharing across Feysbuk, Feysbuk Messenger, Feysbuk Marketplace, Feysbuk Gaming, Ads, and Instagram. The most significant change is the ability for users to keep their Instagram and Feysbuk accounts linked or to manage the accounts separately “so that their information is no longer used across accounts.”
Linking your Instagram and Feysbuk accounts özgü some benefits to the user, like allowing them to be able to find people they know more easily. For the company, linking gives Meta more data for ad targeting.
It’s unclear if any of these tools will ever become available for users in the U.S., but it sure would be nice if U.S. regulators started caring about citizens’ digital privacy as much as EU regulators seem to.