Meta Hit With European Complaints Over Data for Targeted Ads

Meta Platforms Inc. faces a swathe of complaints in Europe for allegedly failing to get proper consent before collecting vast amounts of data about Facebook and Instagram users so it can target the ads they see.

Eight consumer organizations will lodge the complaints with national data watchdogs on Thursday, accusing Meta of creating a “smokescreen” by offering users the choice of using ad-free versions of their social media services as long as they pay. 

The groups claim this violates the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which allows fines as high as 4% of annual revenue for the most serious infractions.

Meta’s “unfair ‘pay-or-consent’ choice is the company’s latest effort to legalize its business model,” Ursula Pachl…