Would Facebook's Tracking Pixel Violate European Data Protection Law?

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The decision taken by a European data protection authority concerning Facebook's Tracking Pixel and other tracking methods used by Meta in ads posted on Facebook and Instagram was described as 'momentous'. According to the authority, these tools would directly violate the GDPRthe European Data Protection Regulation, and the 'Schrems II' decision on transatlantic data flows.

The decision was made following one of 101 complaints filed by the NOYB organisation and concerns the use of the Meta Tracking Pixel by a news website as of August 2020. Although the website in question stopped using the tracking tools immediately after the complaint was filed, the breach had already occurred.

The decision has implications not only for the website in question, but also for other websites that use Meta's Tracking Pixel in Europe. This is due to the fact that any website can track users and show targeted advertisements using Facebook's tracking technology. Consequently, websites using this technology may send their users' information to the United States. Given the large use of Facebook's services that process personal data (which is then transferred to the United States), the decision could have much wider repercussions on the use of Facebook's Tracking Pixels.

However, despite the European Data Protection Authority's finding of a breach by the owner, no fines have been imposed to date. The EU-US Data Privacy Framework (DPF) could replace the Transatlantic Data Transfer Agreement, but will probably not be adopted any time soon. As a result, the legal framework governing data transfers between the EU and the US still presents a significant gap that may not be closed for several months.

Meta played down the decision of the European data protection authority, claiming that this kind of decision would have no effect on companies using its products. However, each company will have to decide for itself whether to continue using Facebook's Tracking Pixels while waiting for the EU and the US to agree on the Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.

In any case, if you have any problems or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us by opening a ticket at support@gtechgroup.it

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G Tech Group was born conceptually in 2011 and entrepreneurially in 2013 from an idea of Gianluca Gentile its founder.

The aim was to create the first Social Web Agency not a classic web agency that deals with social but an agency that shares its resources and ideas with other agencies and also connects different agencies, creating a real network.

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