ePrivacy, PECR

Facebook to update cookie consent controls on Facebook & Instagram in Europe


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Their aim is to improve alignment with the ePrivacy Directive (UK – PECR) and GDPR.

Facebook announced via their newsroom on Thursday (23rd September 2021) that they will be changing their cookie consent controls within the European region for Facebook and Instagram users.

The goal is to give users “a more granular level of control” regarding the cookies they allow Facebook to set both in-app and across the web on websites and apps that use the Facebook pixel.

The cookie control updates, or “experience” in Facebook’s words, will be added to the settings menu on Facebook and Instagram. Once will rolled out, users will have access to:

  • a new consent prompt, providing more granular cookie consent options
  • a new control, offering people control over whether Facebook can use cookies to help record and use data received about them from third party websites and apps through its business tools

Facebook currently prompts new users to consent to cookies. 

However, Facebook does not currently exert much control over how third parties deploy tracking cookies on their website. 

Of course, Facebook reminds advertising customers of their obligations to comply with local laws and regulations in their terms of service. However in practice, they run only limited checks on how people implement the rules.

Many clients we work with struggle with compliance with the confusing cookie rules in place across the UK and EEA (European Economic Area). Our advice around using the Facebook pixel on your website is clear, it’s not an essential part of the user experience and does not qualify for any other exemptions under the PECR (ePrivacy rules), therefore you must get consent from users before using it in the UK or EEA.

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