The European Data Protection Board said Wednesday it had adopted a binding decision that will result in Facebook and Instagram owner Meta being banned from using the personal data of users for targeted advertisements.

The order will "impose a ban on the processing of personal data for behavioural advertising on the legal bases of contract and legitimate interest across the entire European Economic Area," the EDPB said in a statement posted on its website.

The EDPD said it took the decision following a request from Norway's data regulator, which earlier this year imposed a ban on sending Facebook and Instagram users targeted advertisements based on their personal data which the social media platform collects without their explicit consent.

The EDPB decision forces Ireland's data regulator, which has authority over Meta's operations in Europe, to take final measures on the issue within two weeks, with a ban to enter force a week later.

The statement said Meta was informed Tuesday of the EDPB's decision and indicated that it plans to ask for consent to use personal data to target ads that users see when they use the apps.

"The EDPB takes note of Meta's proposal to rely on a consent-based approach as a legal basis" and said this was being evaluated.

Facebook had some 300 million daily users in Europe at the end of 2022, out of about two billion users worldwide, with Europeans generating about a fifth of Meta's advertising sales.

Losing the ability to target ads may deal a financial blow to Meta if advertisers reduce their spending.

EDPB Chairwoman Anu Talus said in a statement that the decision to impose a ban was taken after Meta was found not to have complied with orders issued at the end of last year.

"It is high time for Meta to bring its processing into compliance and to stop unlawful processing," she said.

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