Facebook should stop advertising to users in Nordic countries or face legal action, the Norwegian consumer agency said on Thursday.
The agency, like its counterparts in the Nordic region, wants to put an end to the advertisements that appear on users’ news feeds.
It has sent a letter to the European Commission to determine whether Facebook is in line with the EU’s directive on privacy and electronic communication — and possibly to make amendments to rules drawn up before Facebook was founded.
“It is prohibited to send electronic advertisements to consumers who haven’t given their consent, either by email or SMS,” consumer mediator Gry Nergaard told AFP.
“We think that some of the advertising that Facebook calls ‘Sponsored Stories’ is beginning to look like unsolicited electronic messages,” she said.
Facebook is struggling to generate advertising revenue, claims it is abiding by European and Norwegian laws.
Its spokesman in northern Europe, Jan Fredriksson, said users could choose to block this type of advertising in their settings.
But Nergaard said it was not enough to provide an “opt out” option, the key issue was that Facebook did not have users’ prior consent.