Facebook has long struggled to meet the strict privacy standards of European regulators. That’s why the company announced a radical new plan earlier this year to allow European users to pay for an ad-free version of the platform, exempting them from the kind of data collection the company uses to help target advertising. And this week, the social media giant announced the final version of the plan, with users getting the choice to pay between 9.99 euros and 12.99 euros per month to better protect their privacy starting in November.
This new policy is undoubtedly a sign that Facebook is caving to regulators and trying to comply with data privacy rules. However, not everyone is convinced this plan will be an effective way for users to safeguard their privacy, or even if it’s legal at all.
“If we move to a pay-for-your-rights system, it will depend on how deep your pockets are if you have a right to privacy,” longtime European privacy advocate Max Schrems said of the new model. “We are very skeptical if this is compliant with the law.”
While this subscription model is a step in the right direction, Schrems also raises a valid point. Privacy protections should be built into the foundation of the platform itself, not something that users have to pay for as a bonus.
Choose what the experts use: award-winning cybersecurity you can trust and rely on.
Surf the web truly incognito. Try Bitdefender Premium VPN, the ultra-fast VPN that keeps your online identity and activities safe from hackers, ISPs and snoops.