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Open letter: EU lawmakers call on Meta to scrap its ‘pay or okay’ scheme

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In an open letter initiated by Pirate Party MEP and digital freedom fighter Patrick Breyer, 36 Members of the European Parliament have expressed a resolute condemnation of Meta’s controversial ‘pay or okay’ scheme to Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs at Meta. MEPs express deep concerns regarding the “privacy fee” undermining privacy and data protection, presenting a “false choice” and constituting “economic coercion”. The scheme is currently under scrutiny by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and the Commission, and is being litigated in court by consumer organisations.

Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer comments the letter:

“Privacy is not a commodity – it’s a fundamental human right that should never be subject to commercial transactions. The ‘pay or okay’ model used by Meta perpetuates inequalities, undermines the very essence of personal security and reinforces unjust systems. Meta’s approach fails to seek genuine consent as required by the GDPR, coercing users into acceptance by making privacy unaffordable. The reason Meta insists in an unlawful consent model is because its business model is dependent on pervasive tracking. We need a true alternative to tracking and targeted advertising, with approaches such as contextual advertising. We urge Meta to scrap its ‘pay or okay’ scheme.”