Privacy Advocates Take Aim at Musk’s X Over Alleged GDPR Violation.  Scrutiny Intensifies as X Receives Privacy Complaint Over Alleged Ad Targeting Failures

Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, previously recognized as Twitter, is facing heightened scrutiny following a privacy complaint filed by the non-profit organization for privacy rights, noyb. The complaint, submitted to the Dutch data protection authority, alleges that X has breached its advertising guidelines by permitting the European Commission to employ sensitive personal data for targeted advertisements, a violation of X’s terms and conditions.

Alleged Violations in Ad Targeting and Breaches

In defiance of X’s terms and conditions, which explicitly forbid the utilization of individuals’ political affiliations and religious beliefs for ad targeting, the European Commission purportedly employed such sensitive data to advocate a legislative proposal on the X platform. This development has triggered a fresh privacy complaint, amplifying the controversy surrounding the Commission’s actions and placing X under scrutiny for alleged breaches.

noyb’s Ongoing Advocacy for Privacy Rights

The non-profit organization for privacy rights, noyb, previously filed a complaint against the European Commission for potential breaches of pan-EU regulations. Building on this initial action, noyb has now directed a privacy complaint towards X, underscoring the imperative for stringent enforcement against the platform. The complaint raises apprehensions regarding X’s role as a widely used platform and its obligation to uphold privacy standards.

Utilization of Sensitive Data in Ad Campaigns

X’s mechanisms for ad targeting are facing examination due to allegations that the European Commission was able to leverage sensitive personal data to target users. This data was ostensibly utilized to champion a legislative proposal concerning the scrutiny of messages for child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The complaint underscores potential violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the recently enacted Digital Services Act (DSA).

RISC-V, AI, and Privacy Concerns

While X grapples with privacy complaints, the broader tech industry is witnessing significant developments. Meanwhile, privacy concerns persist, with noyb raising questions about the use of micro-targeting on X, particularly for controversial legislative proposals. The interplay between privacy rights, artificial intelligence, and platform accountability is becoming increasingly complex.

The privacy landscape is further complicated by Meta, formerly Facebook, making strategic decisions in the realm of data protection and artificial intelligence. As X faces privacy complaints, Meta’s moves, such as embracing RISC-V for AI acceleration, add another layer to the evolving discussions around privacy and technological advancements.

Regulatory Oversight and Compliance Challenges

The regulatory landscape, marked by GDPR and the newly enacted DSA, presents challenges for platforms like X. The complaint against X underscores potential compliance issues related to data processing for ad targeting, raising questions about how well-established platforms navigate evolving privacy standards.

If found in violation of GDPR and DSA, X could face significant regulatory sanctions. Penalties for breaches of the GDPR can reach up to 4% of global annual turnover, while the DSA allows for even larger sanctions of up to 6%. X’s alleged failure to enforce its advertising guidelines adds complexity to potential enforcement actions.

Irish GDPR Oversight and Musk’s Influence

Under Elon Musk’s ownership, X has changed, raising questions about its compliance with privacy standards. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), tasked with GDPR oversight of X, becomes a focal point in assessing Musk’s impact on the platform’s data protection practices.

As X navigates privacy complaints and regulatory scrutiny, the tech industry grapples with the challenge of balancing innovation with privacy safeguards. The outcome of investigations into X’s alleged breaches will not only impact the platform but may also set precedents for how major social media platforms adhere to evolving privacy regulations.