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IAB Europe responds to EDPB statement on consent or pay models

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On April 17, 2024, the European Data Protection Board ( EDPB ) published an opinion on the consent or pay model introduced by major online platforms such as Meta. For a detailed summary on this topic, see our last blog post here.

Under this model, consumers have the choice to consent to the processing of their personal data for personalized advertising or to pay for the service that does not collect and process their data.

On 23 April 2024, IAB Europe published its response to the EDPB Opinion, raising some concerns:

  • IAB Europe is concerned that the EDPB ’s opinion deviates from the established case law of the European Court of Justice. The statements on the “consent or pay” model and personalized advertising are too abstract and could lead to more legal uncertainty for companies.
  • The EDPB opinion is considered too theoretical and could contradict the principles of data minimisation and fairness of the GDPR. The consent or pay model presents data protection rights as a luxury, as they only apply to those who can afford them.
  • The EDPB proposes that there should be a free alternative without advertising and instead uses contextual advertising as an alternative source of revenue. However, there is no empirical evidence that this is a financially attractive alternative for companies. Furthermore, the GDPR does not oblige companies to change their business models in this way. For this reason, IAB Europe considers that this balance between data protection rights and freedom to conduct a business is not taken into account in the EDPB proposal.

Given these issues and the intention of the EDPB , IAB Europe is pushing for a public consultation to ensure that the upcoming guidelines accurately reflect the concerns and interests of all stakeholders involved.

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