Spain blocks Facebook and Instagram from deploying election features

Spain blocked from distributing election-based features and in the country. Data protection agency AEPD used emergency powers under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ban the Election Day Data and Voter Data Unit tools for up to three months as a precaution.

Meta planned to implement these tools before the elections to the European Parliament. The company said it developed them to “respect users’ privacy and comply with GDPR” and disagreed with AEPD’s position, Meta said will follow your order.

The agency targeted how Meta plans to process data through tools. He said there was no reason to collect the age data (because it was impossible to verify the ages on users’ profiles) and criticized Meta’s intention to keep the data until after the June election. This plan, he claimed, “reveals an additional purpose for the processing operation.”

Other data that Meta plans to process through its polling tools include user interactions with these features, as well as gender data. “The agency believes that the company’s planned data collection and protection will seriously risk the rights and freedoms of Instagram and Facebook users, who will see an increase in the amount of data it collects about them. creating more complex, detailed and comprehensive profiles, more interventional treatments,” AEPD translated from Spanish. It also cited concerns about sharing such information with third parties for “non-obvious purposes.”

AEPD says Meta plans to use these tools to remind eligible Facebook and Instagram users in the EU to vote. The controller claims that Meta will identify users as eligible voters based on their IP addresses and profile information about where they live. However, the only requirement to vote in the election is to be an adult citizen of any EU member state.

According to the AEPD, Meta’s approach targets non-EU citizens living in member states, while leaving out EU citizens who do not live in the bloc. He called the company’s handling of user data “unnecessary, disproportionate and excessive.” .

The European Commission also expressed its concerns about Meta’s approach to the elections. Block in April Contact the company regarding election policies.

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