Last November, Meta launched an ad-free subscription on its Instagram and Facebook platforms. The impetus was criticism from the EU regarding the legal basis for the collection and processing of user data, according to which targeted advertising was offered. The calculation was simple – if you want your data not to be collected, not processed, and not to be shown ads at all, pay for it. Initially, it was about 9.99 euros per month for one account. However, users did not like this method of protecting personal information – some called it a “smokescreen” behind which data collection continues, some called it a choice without choice, and some consumer advocacy groups simply sued claiming that the “Accept or Pay” scheme violated their freedom of choice.

At a recent hearing at the European Commission, Meta lawyer Tim Lamb said the company would reduce the subscription price to €5.99 monthly for a single account and €4 for each additional account, positioning it as a concession “to achieve stability” in a dispute with data protection authorities. Lamb called the rate he announced “the lowest that any reasonable person should pay for services of this quality” and expressed hope for a “speedy resolution of regulatory uncertainty.”

However, unfortunate cybersecurity experts are still not satisfied – they emphasize that such an approach effectively makes online privacy impossible, and that basic rights – such as the right to vote or the right to protect personal information – should remain free and accessible to everyone. In the second episode of the first season of Black Mirror, called “Fifteen Million Awards,” the protagonist periodically hears, “You don’t have enough money to give up advertising.” It seems that Meta executives took this as a call to action – or it’s just their favorite series.

Літературний редактор.