From the Wall Street Journal.

Meta Platforms Inc. is planning to let European users of Facebook and Instagram opt out of certain highly personalized ads as part of plans to limit the impact of a European Union privacy order, according to people familiar with the planning.

What this proves, beyond doubt, is that Meta will only respect your privacy when it is legislated to do so.

Note also the “opt-out” rather than the “opt-in” that is desired.

Why else wouldn’t they roll this out to the entire world?

It seems to me that Meta is on the wrong side of worldwide public opinion. At some point, this will present a serious enough risk for the company —either through data mishandling (selling some data to unscrupulous brokers) or being the target of a massive breach (it is only a matter of time) —for them to act on it fundamentally.

From what we know, most “digital marketing” is smoke and mirrors, providing no real value to advertisers over and above Media/TV/Radio and billboards. The value chain has been hijacked to introduce these gatekeepers that squeeze profits from both sides, making most small businesses poorer.

From the European Commission’s Study on the impact of recent developments in digital advertising on privacy, publishers and advertisers:

The most widely used products in digital advertising rely on large amounts of personal data and profiling of individuals. However, there is limited evidence to suggest that the efficiency and efficacy gains to advertisers and publishers outweigh the societal impact of these products. There is a lack of independent analysis to assess the benefits of using personal data and profiling in advertising. The few studies that do exist fail to take into account important considerations such as the impact of fraud and buyer expectations.

I thoroughly recommend the report.

30 March 2023 — French West Indies