Stop cookies by the end of the year: How does the EU want to change online advertising?

Increase consumer awareness of data tracking and reduce ads while browsing the web. This is the challenge faced by the European Commission as part of its initiative to phase out cookies by the end of the year. “The aim will be to provide consumers with a simpler choice of advertising models,” the commission said in a statement.

These small text files, which are uploaded to the user’s browser and allow to store some information about their online behavior, are currently regulated by the ePrivacy Directive and are used to allow the processing of personal data in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation data. (Gdpr). “Existing permission mechanisms for cookies can be very complex, with banners appearing every time users visit a new website,” the commission said. Said. This leads to “cookie fatigue”, i.e. having to constantly allow or refuse the processing of your data when you access a website.

That’s why the EU’s consumer protection department has decided to hold a series of roundtables to discuss the issue with stakeholders, including publishers, advertisers and digital platforms. In the memo seen by Euractiv, the first, scheduled for April 28, will discuss the possibility of “providing alternative methods for personalizing ads in exchange for continued freebies of paid content.” “The goal will be to provide consumers with simpler ad model choices while respecting their wishes not to be tracked in this situation,” he continues.

The main issue that arises is the privacy issue, which is causing a growing loss of trust in users. “However, this does not mean that consumers who want to continue to enjoy paid online content and relevant advertising are opposed to personalized advertising.” Clarified that personalization “must be more respectful of privacy aspirations”.

Enabling consumers to make an informed decision is an important part of the debate, and this stems from the Commission’s effort to provide users with more transparent information about their business environment. A specific case is marketplaces (electronic commerce platforms), which must describe their primary business model as well as explain how advertising activities are conducted.

A critical point concerns the possibility of using browsers or applications to centralize user choices so that the use of cookies is avoided every time a website is visited. This premise is not new and somewhat controversial given that the world’s largest advertising company Google owns the most popular web browser, Chrome.

That’s why experts are trying to find possible alternatives to tracking-based advertising so that cookies can be permanently deleted. In this context, the Commission questioned what performance criteria should be used to assess whether alternative solutions allow publishers to serve ads that are equally “attractive” to advertisers and consumers.

As for possible solutions as alternatives to advertisements, one suggestion is to offer consumers the ability to choose predefined options in their browser settings. The Commission concluded in the note, “Are there solutions for non-tracking targeted advertising, independent of browsers and operating systems?” asked.

Source: Today IT