Meta has filed for a temporary injunction against Norway’s data protection agency Datatilsynet, according to court documents. 

The injunction, filed to Oslo’s District Court, petitions to stop a fine and ban Meta’s use of targeted ads on its Facebook and Instagram apps. 

In its original complaint, Datatilsynet stated that Meta portrayed a “persistent state of non-compliance” to GDPR in its investigation. The agency alleges that Meta have broken GDPR guidelines by using personal data for its behavioural targeted advertising. 

Not only did Meta receive a fine of $97,700 (Nkr1m), but a temporary ban will also be issued on Meta’s use of personal data to inform targeted advertising. These are both due to be enforced from 14 August 2023. 

Importantly, Datatilsynet do distinguish that this ban would not stop Meta from using data provided by Facebook users in their “about” pages on profiles. 

Instead, this ban seeks to stop the company from using “inferences drawn from observed behaviour as well as on the basis of data subjects’ movements, estimated location and how data subjects interact with ads and user-generated content.” 

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By GlobalData

Responding to Meta’s filing for injunction, Datatilsynet state that it is pessimistic that Meta’s injunction will be granted. The company stated that it believes “the conditions for a temporary injunction have not been met” by Meta. 

In its statement, Datatilsynet insist that Meta should follow its decision, otherwise the privacy rights of Norwegian Facebook and Instagram users will be “violated everyday”. 

Speaking to Verdict directly, Datatilsynet claimed that it was not surprised Meta had filed for an injunction against the ban.

“With pressure amounting from regulators and courts,” a spokesperson for Datatilsynet said, “it is only a matter of time before Meta needs to change its ways.”

The agency also added that even if Meta is successful in its petition, Datatilsynet does not believe that Meta will no longer face scrutiny over its targeted advertising.

Targeted advertising is monumentally more profitable for social media companies. 

GlobalData’s report into the social media sector found that not only did targeted advertising mean that users were more likely to interact with relevant advertising, but advertisers were also more likely to see a greater return on investment. 

Earlier this year, Meta already faced a record $1.3bn fine for violating EU data privacy rules by storing EU user data in the US.  

TikTok has also recently made the decision to remove targeted advertising for its teenaged EU users in order to comply with the Digital Services Act. 

Meta’s petition will go to court for a two-day hearing on 22 August 2023.