ICO opens consultation into “Consent or Pay” business models

06/03/2024 | ICO

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a consultation seeking feedback from businesses and digital advertising stakeholders on the "consent or pay" business models. The debate about ad-funded online business models has been intensifying in recent months, particularly in the EU, following the introduction of Meta's tiered (consent or pay) subscription model.

The ICO writes that data protection law allows for various approaches and business models that balance fundamental rights like privacy with other rights, such as the freedom to conduct a business. However, companies must ensure that the consent to processing personal information for targeted behavioural advertising has been given freely, is fully informed, and can be withdrawn without detriment.

In opening its call for views, the ICO emphasises that this should not be seen as a confirmation of the legality of such an approach. The consultation closes on 17 April 2024.

Alongside the call for views, Stephen Almond, Executive Director, Regulatory Risk at the ICO, published a blog article on the subject.

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Paid or free, Pay or OK, tiered subscription model, Consent or Pay

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