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  • Writer's pictureNordic Data Resources

Meta's tracking tool Pixel banned in Austria

In Austria, it is now illegal to use Meta's tracking tool, Pixel.

It can affect Danish (potentially also Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish) companies, says a professor of personal data law.


Collecting data for Nordic marketing purposes is not necessarily a bad thing if it’s done in an ethical and transparent way. When it's used in transatlantic exchange with Meta's US-based servers though, there are most likely data privacy problems.


The Danish industry media Markedsforing conveys that the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DSB) has decided that the use of Meta/Facebook’s tracking tool Pixel directly violates the GDPR and the Schrems II decision on transatlantic data flows.



Authorities exchange knowledge

Ayo Næsborg-Andersen, associate professor at the law department at the University of Southern Denmark and researcher in personal data law, estimates that the Austrian decision may have an impact on Danish (and potentially fellow Nordic countries') companies.


Pixel is used by a large number of companies for tracking and microtargeting advertisements.


The problem is that the collected personal data is sent back to Meta's server in the US. This move has been illegal since 2020 as European data may not be sent to the United States because there is less protection than in the EU.

"The decision has no significance now, but it is a long deadline, because the Danish data supervisory authority is looking at the same thing, and we have seen them follow the same route as the Austrian data supervisory authority before. The various European data supervisory authorities exchange knowledge, and therefore there is a high probability that they will say something that is very similar to each other."

- Ayo Næsborg-Andersen


Targeting vs. Micro-Targeting

At NDR, we have never believed in or built on the idea of tracking or micro-targeting - have a look at our white paper What Is Wrong With Micro-Targeting.


Instead, we help our partners and clients build consumer insights and better reach core audiences without collecting personal data from tracking online behavior.


To us, a solution to easily activate privacy-safe audiences on multiple integrated platforms is essential. Meaning; No more waiting for each audience data set to be adjusted and replicated to each channel/platform.


Whether you buy our pre-built audience packs or build audiences yourself, our solution is based on a partnership with the transparent targeting tool IDFree.com. Here, you can activate programmatic advertising campaigns on social media, platforms, and channels with one and the same audience.


You are very welcome to get in touch with us for a talk about Pixel and how to base your targeting on non-individual data.

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