Podcast: Exploring the Pay-or-Okay model (with Mikołaj Barczentewicz)

My guest on this episode of the Mobile Dev Memo podcast is Mikołaj Barczentewicz, a law professor at, and the research director of, the Law and Technology Hub at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. Mikolaj is an expert on European data privacy law and this is his fourth time appearing on the podcast: in previous episodes, we discussed the European digital privacy environment broadly, the future of EU-US data transfers, and the specifics of the EU’s Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act.

In this episode of the podcast, Mikolaj unpacks the realities of “pay or okay,” which is the business model that Meta has decided to apply for its users in the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland after various rulings and commentary by EU courts, regulatory bodies, privacy boards, and privacy authorities. Under this model, a user is provided with a choice that dictates their ability to access a product: they can pay, or consent to having various forms of their data processed, often for digital advertising purposes (which is the “okay” component of the model’s name). Several companies have applied this model in the EU in the face of the GDPR’s restrictions related to data processing, as we discussed.

Specific topics of our conversation include:

  • Background on Meta’s pay or okay subscription offering;
  • Norway’s banning of Meta’s targeted advertising;
  • and the European Data Protection Board’s recent guidance on the ePrivacy Directive.

The Mobile Dev Memo podcast is available on:

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