Instagram's Twitter alternative application 'Threads' is not yet released in the EU due to privacy issues

'Threads', which allows Twitter-like text-based communication with Instagram accounts, has finally appeared. Threads, which is expected to be an alternative to Twitter that is becoming more difficult to use day by day, such as setting a limit on the number of tweets that can be viewed per day, says TechCrunch of overseas media, ``Privacy is like a nightmare.'' We are reporting.

Meta's Threads app is a privacy nightmare that won't launch in EU yet | TechCrunch

Since December 2020, the App Store, the official app store provided by Apple, has introduced a ``privacy label'' that specifies what kind of user data the app collects. With the advent of this privacy label, some apps have come to be criticized for collecting too much user data.

As a result of Apple's obligation to display ``user data collected by the application'', the difference in the amount of collection for each application is highlighted-GIGAZINE

Threads, a new SNS application by Meta that develops and operates Facebook and Instagram, has also clarified what kind of user data it collects with this privacy label. Threads collects almost all user data that can be collected, and users have sarcastically posted a tweet saying, 'Threads knows more about me than my mother.'

TechCrunch said, 'This is surprising given that Meta, the creator of Threads, makes money by tracking and profiling web users and attracting their attention through behavioral advertising micro-targeting tools. It's not,' he pointed out.

In addition, in early 2023, Meta violated the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by ``forcibly displaying user tracking ads on Facebook and Instagram'', and was charged with €390 million (approximately 61 billion yen) has been imposed. Therefore, TechCrunch pointed out that 'questions arise' as to whether Threads can be released in the EU.

Meta will be fined about 54.7 billion yen for ``forcing user tracking ads to be displayed on Facebook and Instagram''-GIGAZINE

Later, in the above lawsuit, Meta claimed 'legitimate interest in processing data for advertising', but the EU Supreme Court ruled that Meta's legal basis was not adequate to run its behavioral advertisements. We have ruled that we need to ask users for their consent, not things. Processing sensitive information such as health data in the EU requires high standards of explicit consent from users in order to comply with the GDPR. In other words, Meta needs to ask the user for permission if it collects sensitive data.

In addition, EU digital market law and digital services law prohibit the use of sensitive data in advertising altogether, and companies require explicit consent from users when combining data for ad profiling. is needed.

However, Meta does not offer users any option to opt out of user tracking or profiling, and uses collected user data as a matter of course for its behavioral advertising business. As such, Meta's existing behavioral advertising business could face even greater legal uncertainty in the EU, TechCrunch points out.

In addition, Meta has been fined 1.2 billion euros (about 188 billion yen) for transferring EU Facebook user data to an American server in violation of the GDPR. Although this is a penalty imposed on Facebook, the same penalties can apply if you do not properly protect EU user data (such as end-to-end encryption), and Threads There is no such privacy protection function installed.

Meta will be fined 180 billion yen, the highest ever, for personal data transfer from Facebook - GIGAZINE

Complying with EU law would require a fundamental change in the existing behavioral advertising business for Meta, but given that Threads, released on July 6th, 2023, collects a wide variety of user data. ``There doesn't seem to be an option to comply with EU law in Meta's plans,'' TechCrunch points out.

He added, 'What is clear is that Threads has not yet been released in the EU, and probably will never be released in the EU. At least Meta will make user tracking a user choice. It will not be released in the EU unless we take a fundamental approach change.'

In fact, when contacted the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), it seems that ``Meta has no plans to release Threads in the EU at this time''. The Guardian also reports that Meta has postponed the release of Threads in the EU due to legal uncertainty, citing an insider source at Meta. In addition, TechCrunch has asked Meta whether there are plans to release Threads in the EU, but it seems that the answer was not obtained.

On the other hand, Threads is scheduled to be released in the UK, which has left the EU. However, the UK data protection regime is still based on the GDPR, so technically speaking issues regarding the processing of personal data may also arise in the UK. Meanwhile, the UK data protection watchdog ICO is notoriously indifferent to systematic abuses by the surveillance advertising industry, TechCrunch says. Therefore, it has been pointed out that Meta may have decided to release Threads in the UK.

in Mobile,   Software, Posted by logu_ii