A group representing over 80 media outlets in Spain has taken legal action against Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook and Instagram. They claim that Meta has violated European data protection laws by using users' personal data for advertising profiling without obtaining their consent. The Asociacion de Medios de Informacion (AMI) is seeking a compensation of more than 550 million euros ($598.6 million) from Meta, accusing them of gaining an "unfair" advantage in the advertising market through the "massive" and "systematic" use of personal data.

AMI, which includes prominent Spanish media publications such as El Mundo, El Pais, El Economista, and Cinco Dias, argues that Meta's practices are detrimental to the country's media landscape and threaten its sustainability. The association claims that Meta had failed to comply with European data protection regulations from May 25, 2018, up until earlier this year.

Meta has not yet received any legal claims or documents from AMI and thus declined to provide a comment on the matter.

The lawsuit comes after a significant ruling by the European Union's highest court in July. The court stated that Meta would require users' consent for specific types of targeted advertisements based on their online activity. This decision poses a challenge to Meta's ongoing legal battle to safeguard its business model, which heavily relies on delivering targeted ads to users.

It remains to be seen how this lawsuit will unfold and what implications it may have for Meta's operations in Spain and beyond.

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