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The problem with the EU’s new ePrivacy Regulation | Digital Advertising Update

The problem with the EU’s new ePrivacy Regulation | Digital Advertising Update


Hi. This is Stefan from admetrics with the Digital
Advertising Update. Today, I want to talk about the EU’s new
controversial ePrivacy regulation, which recently crossed a major legislative hurdle. I will be referring to this new regulation
as “ePrivacy” for short. So, what is ePrivacy and why is it important? ePrivacy is an update to the previous data
protection directive and will be a crucial part of the grand new European privacy framework. By now, most of you are aware of GDPR, which
is another part of the same framework that will go into effect starting May 2018. ePrivacy is a separate component that has
been drafted by the European Union’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
for the past couple of years and is now in the parliamentary approval stage. So, technically speaking, this regulation
is not here – yet. In its most recent draft, ePrivacy will have
far-reaching, fundamental consequences for advertisers, ad tech providers and consumers
in Europe. Reading the current draft of the regulation
is actually pretty alarming, and considering its huge potential impact, it’s surprising
that there’s so little talk about it. What’s the issue with ePrivacy? While GDPR is concerned with explicit consent
for the use of personal data—which is understandable and manageable—ePrivacy is aimed at demanding
explicit consent for *all analytical data*, *in general*. The basic approach of the regulation is that
user tracking of any kind will not be allowed, and therefore prohibited by default. In other words, tracking users for commercial
purposes or direct marketing is prohibited—unless you have user consent. Unsolicited direct marketing, including e-mail
Marketing, is prohibited—unless you have user consent. Tracking users for analytical purposes or
to provide personalised content is also prohibited—unless you have user consent. From where we stand, getting this consent
is going to be a huge challenge. Browser vendors will have to turn off tracking
by default, and it seems unlikely that many users will manually opt-in via their browser
settings. Also, the regulation prohibits publishers
to deny access to users who have not consented to tracking, which eliminates the most obvious
motivation for users to consent. The feedback from industry groups that took
part in the draft process has been overwhelmingly negative.  A majority points to the significant costs
of compliance and sees differences in national enforcement of ePrivacy as considerable challenges
for businesses. Some groups, with the publishers being especially
vocal, expect that ePrivacy will “endanger existing business models” and “seriously
stifle new opportunities and innovation related to use of data”. One—rather shrill—prediction stated that
“the EU is killing the internet”. We don’t necessarily share that exact viewpoint,
but to us it looks like this regulation has the realistic potential to deal a major blow
to data-driven or behavioural advertising because of ePrivacy’s broad prohibition
of data collection without user consent.  Where’s the regulation at right now? On October 26th, the European Parliament voted
in favour of adopting ePrivacy. This vote was a close one, but it eventually
passed. So, the regulation will most likely be implemented,
the question now is when and how exactly. The next step in the process is a legislative
specialty of the EU: the *trilogue*. This means that the European Parliament will
be discussing the implementation with EU member states and the European Council.  Most likely the regulation will be heavily
amended during this process, depending on national initiatives. And at this moment, it is completely unclear
when the final version will be ready to be agreed upon.  But from what it looks like, the parliament
is eager to put ePrivacy into action, aiming for full implementation together with the
GDPR in May 2018. Which is actually the second problem with
ePrivacy that we see, namely: timing.  With the final regulation not even close to
being finished as of November 2017… an unknown number of amendments still to be
addressed… and considering that GDPR was introduced with
a grace period of 2 years while having way less impact than ePrivacy… …this timing seems pretty fantastic, even
for EU standards. However, that’s where ePrivacy is at right
now, which is why we suggest getting familiar with it. We will follow the development closely to
see where ePrivacy is heading next. If you want to know more, do check out the
links in the description and follow this channel for updates. Our website is admetrics.io. This is the Digital Advertising Update. Until next time.

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