Very well, we have now given them enough opportunities to comply with the law.
They repeatedly promise improvement and then try to evade it.
Time and time again, the adjustments they make turn out to be time-consuming or ineffective in some way.
Yes, the issue is difficult and the law is not perfect and the world is developing faster than the law’s ability to keep up, but the intention is clear. Just when it’s clear that FB and Meta (and some others) will go to extreme lengths to delay and avoid because their entire business model conflicts with our privacy laws.
They have become very skilled at stalling to buy time and, if necessary, file major lawsuits in the hope that they can delay them until they become irrelevant and the fine pays itself. Directly from advertising revenues or indirectly through non-competes.
All the nice laws about asking for permission to collect data haven’t helped, companies may be complying with the letter of the law (I doubt it) but certainly not intentionally. This in itself is not wrong because that is how the system works, but it also means that we make new rules if the old rules do not comply.
In my opinion, banning personal ads was the only possible outcome. The power of personalized advertising is so great that these companies won’t really change as long as they see even the slightest chance of sticking around. They can continue to stretch for years to come. The more tightly written the law, the more exceptions there are, and the broader the law, the more difficult it is to determine whether such a company is violating the law. The idea that people can give voluntary, informed consent simply doesn’t work, it’s too vague.
That’s why I think it’s a good idea to approach it from the other side and block personalized ads altogether. It no longer matters what tricks they come up with to collect your data, they are no longer allowed to use them.
To be honest, I’m very surprised that regulators have taken this step. I did not expect that in the next ten years and I thought that a small disaster would have to happen before we could take this step.
Now it remains to be seen whether that will ultimately hold up, because supervisors are neither legislators nor judges. However, I am glad that we are now playing straight for the end game rather than continuing to cling to ineffective legislation. (This legislation is not wrong, by the way, but it is not sufficient.)
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