I’ve never been one of those ‘Europe does everything right unlike here‘ type of gals. Some countries in the EU still have ‘freed’ colonies paying them a lion’s share of their GDPs for the privilege of no longer being enslaved, minarets, hijabs, kippahs, burkinis, and more have been repeatedly outlawed in displays of religious hatred and xenophobia, and they all drive on the wrong side of the road. But when it comes to standing up to the corporate man like Meta, countries in the continental Union get extraordinary things done.
They slapped tech companies’ phone-bricking hands with right-to-repair laws. They stand up for workers’ rights to adequate notice and solid reasoning for layoffs. Every EU country’s parental leave and amount of vacation days slap the anti-employee American Way around like an orca with a baby seal. Their regulations on ingredients and labeling make the ‘Whoever’s not dying needs to keep buying’ methodology here stateside look like a sick, sad joke.
And their new rules surrounding the right not to be corporate-stalked online seem to be poised to show us up yet again.
Ashley Belanger over at Ars Technica relaid that the European Data Protection Board may be cutting the Meta approach of shady, voyeuristic advertising operations off at the knees by insisting customers choose an obvious opt-in to be monitored for quality advertising purposes.
While there hasn’t been an announcement as of the time of writing, given a track record of consumer-considerate excellence, the ruling coming down wouldn’t be a surprise to me. Not to romanticize the whole ‘Divine right of kings’ some of our across-the-Atlantic friends used to/still currently embrace, but maybe there’s something about having had representation handpicked by an otherworldly power that makes them less susceptible to being puppeted by whiny billionaires.
Or maybe they had a gander at a younger, hotter, dumber country’s failings and decided ‘Whatever we do, not that.’
Whether defeat might be snatched from the jaws of predictable victory for the common folk of Europe remains to be seen. Meanwhile, why the* expletive omitted* aren’t we seeing more headlines like this here?
What’s a red-blooded, jealous-as-hell American to do beyond the usual ballots and bot-generated inbox flooding? I can’t say I know for sure…but if I start seeing more ads for body armor and cyanide tooth capsules, I’ll know why.