Is Meta’s ad-free service just another way to make people pay for privacy?

  • December 5, 2023
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The owner of Instagram and Facebook thought a subscription-based service free of ads and their trackers would satisfy European data cops – but some advocacy groups aren’t so sure

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Late last week, Europe’s largest consumer rights group filed a complaint against Meta over paid versions of Instagram and Facebook that give users ad-free versions of the social media sites. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) says the subscriptions – €9.99 per month for the web versions and €12.99 for the apps – are too expensive.

“The tech giant’s pay-or-consent approach is unfair and must be stopped,” the BEUC said. The organisation, which filed its complaint with the EU’s network of consumer protection authorities, called the prices “very high” and said Meta is using “unfair, deceptive and aggressive practices” while giving consumers “misleading and incomplete information”, according to a report by Ars Technica.

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