Media snippets of the week – Meta’s record fine by the EU

Consumer privacy has been and continues to be top of mind for regulators. Since the launch of GDPR in 2018, there has been huge debate on its effectiveness. Nevertheless, we have seen the number of fines being dished out escalating in recent years. Last week we saw the biggest fine to date, with Meta being slapped with a €1.2bn fine by the Irish Data Protection Commission for transferring EU users’ personal data to the US in breach of GDPR. While this will have little impact on Meta’s financial position as it only represents less than 1% of its annual Facebook advertising revenue, the penalty for GDPR breaches can be as high as 4x a company’s global turnover which poses a threat to other tech giants for future breaches amid further crackdown. Elsewhere, there are two updates from Google including its plan to switch-off third-party cookies for c1% of its users next year and the introduction of a slate of AI-supported advertising tools. Another week, another AI chatbot. This week, TikTok is testing an in-app chatbot called ‘Tako’, which has the potential to support the trend of GenZ using TikTok as a new search engine.  


Meta incurs a record fine of €1.2bn by EU for privacy breach

Meta has been fined €1.2bn by the EU, the biggest in the bloc’s history. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) said Meta’s Facebook has breached General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regarding personal data transfer from the EU to the US. Facebook’s EU operation was given 5 months to suspend future transfers, but this order does not affect Meta’s other platforms, Instagram and WhatsApp. This follows a 2020 ruling by the EU's top court that invalidated the Privacy Shield, a previous framework that allowed data transfers between the EU and the US. The DPC said that Meta Ireland did not adequately address the risk of US surveillance of EU personal data in its revised policies. Meta is expected to appeal the decision, however the fine is unlikely to pose financial challenges to Meta, as it represents less than c1% of its annual advertising revenue. FT, Sky


Google plans to disable 1% of users’ third-party cookies in 1Q next year
Follow a positive preliminary test last month, Google announced that it will switch-off cookies for 1% of its users in 1Q24 to further test the ad effectiveness of its Private Sandbox. This will affect how marketers target and measure their online ads, as well as how adtech developers build their compensatory solutions. Marketers have been preparing for this moment by relying more on contextual, independent and first-party data, and by exploring new identity solutions, such as Trade Desk’s UID2, which improves the user experience. Additionally, advertisers have also pursued other marketing channels such as connected TV, audio and mobile gaming to offset the impact from disenabling third-party cookies. Google still intends to phase out cookies completely by the end of 2024, but the timeline has been postponed several times before. The Drum


Google showcase new advertising tools supported by Generative AI
As part of the Google Marketing Live event this year, Google introduced a number of AI tools which will enable marketers to create ads using text prompts, similar to how ChatGPT works. These tools aim to streamline search ads, optimize campaign creation and enable advertisers to engage with their audience in the new AI-generated search experience it introduced to the market a few weeks ago. Tools introduced include AI-powered ‘Product Studio’ which automates ad creation, enabling advertisers to edit image or video using text-to-image prompts. Google has already integrated AI into parts of its ad platform, such as Performance Max ads and Smart Bidding. These developments come as AI becomes a more significant part of the digital ad ecosystem, with companies like Microsoft, Snapchat, and Meta also incorporating AI into their advertising platforms. Adage, Google


TikTok is testing AI chatbot ‘Tako’
TikTok is experimenting with a new AI chatbot feature called Tako in some of its markets. Tako lets users interact with videos by asking questions, and for content suggestions. For example, when watching a video of King Charles’ coronation, a user can enter a prompt such as “What is the significance of King Charles III’s coronation?”. The feature aims to offer users a new way to explore content on the app. The move into knowledge search raises the question of whether these new features could pose a risk to Google. Can ‘social searching’ becomes more popular and younger users bypass Google's search engine in favour of social media’s in-app AI chatbot capabilities? TikTok intends to address the possible privacy issues by giving users the option to delete their chats, following Snap's example. Techcrunch


Rightmove: rising MoM property prices on the platform
Rightmove has issued some stats which it is seeing on its platform. Asking prices have been on the upward trajectory, with the average price of a home coming to the market in May 1.8% higher than a month ago. The discount from asking price to agreed sales price remains steady at normal market levels of 3% and agreed sales levels are only 3% behind the pre-pandemic market of 2019. The increased price confidence is more prevalent at the lower and mid end of the market, whilst there are some signs of over-confidence for the top-of-the-ladder market. Rightmove attributed the surge to a better-than-expected economic outlook than at the start of the year and steadier mortgage rates, despite the Bank of England's continued interest rate hikes. Rightmove


Other news:

  • TikTok filed lawsuit against Montana ban. Reuters
  • Meta forced to sell animated images company Giphy for a loss. Reuters
  • Publicis buys out AI research joint venture. Campaignlive