European Digital Policy
IAB Europe’s Policy Committee represents the interests of Europe’s digital marketing & advertising industry to ensure that future EU policy and regulation enables continuing innovation and sustainable media, while maximising the industry’s potential to contribute to Europe’s digital economy.
Digital Services Act
In December 2020, The European Commission proposed a legislative initiative, the Digital Services Act (DSA), to strengthen the single market and protect citizens and their rights. The European Parliament and the Member States are discussing this Regulation proposal under the ordinary legislative procedure. Once adopted, the rules will be directly applicable across the EU. The four Committees involved are the following: LIBE (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs), JURI (Legal Affairs), ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) and IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection), with IMCO as the lead EP Committee. IAB Europe’s latest position on the DSA dossier can be found here.
For more detailed information, please have a look at our page on the Digital Services Act.
The ePrivacy Regulation is the proposed successor of the ePrivacy Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC). This Directive has been known colloquially as the “Cookie Directive” because of its rules on storing and accessing data on a users’ device. The new ePrivacy Regulation proposal was published by the European Commission on 10 January 2017. IAB Europe released an updated position paper on the topic in April 2021.
In line with the ordinary legislative procedure, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a report in October 2017; under the leadership of the LIBE committee and its shadow rapporteur, MEP Birgit Sippel.
On 10 February 2021, the Council of the EU signed off on its version of the ePrivacy Regulation, marking the beginning of negotiations with the European Parliament on the final text of the Regulation. The agreement constitutes a significant milestone toward getting an updated regulation in place.
For more information, please check out our dedicated page on the ePrivacy Regulation.
More information on the political and legal aspects of the proposal can be found on IAB Europe’s ‘Cookie Regulation FAQ’, along with IAB Europe’s (updated: 12 April 2021) position paper on the proposed ePrivacy Regulation.
Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights
The Commission publicly committed to adopting a “follow the money” approach to cut the revenue flows that drive commercial-scale IPR infringements. Under this approach, the Commission facilitated a Memorandum of Understanding, a first version of which was signed by industry participants in June 2018. Its signatories commit to setting up mechanisms to minimise online advertising placement on websites that infringe IPR.
The approach seeks to target commercial-scale IPR infringers by removing significant revenue streams, thus lowering the economic incentive for the infringement of IPRs. The MoU operates setting a standard for signatories for practices reported under the MoU and may promote other stakeholders not involved in the MoU to better fight against IPR infringements at national, EU and international levels.
Since 2019 the COM and its signatories have agreed year by year to continue the MoU work track and open it to new signatories. On this basis, new signatories have joined the MoU in the last years; the last ones, bol.com and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (EFPIA) joined on 28 April 2021.
In August 2020, the Commission published a report on the functioning of the MoU, which confirms continuous cooperation on the removal of counterfeit goods from online marketplaces between June 2017 and October 2019. As a novelty, The MoU in 2020 explored the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis as well as the fight against counterfeiting.
IAB Europe became a signatory to the European Commission’s Memorandum of Understanding on online advertising and IPR (MoU) on 25 June 2018, with four national IABs and nine IAB Europe corporate members. IAB Europe remains committed to making its members fully aware of the MoU instrument whilst encouraging them to join it or respect its principles, as appropriate.
As it could not be otherwise, the European Commission encourages cooperation under the MoU and welcomes new signatories to join.
Code of Practice on Disinformation
The Code of Practice on disinformation is the first time worldwide that industry has agreed, voluntarily, to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. The Code aims to achieve the objectives of fighting against disinformation set out by the European Commission. IAB Europe is a signatory of the Code, along with several other associations, ad tech companies and advertisers.
In May 2021, DG CNECT published a document containing Guidance for strengthening the Code of Practice on Disinformation. The Guidance focuses on the correct design of policies to avoid the propagation of disinformation and address the misuse and enforcement. It emphasises: (a) cooperation with fact-checkers to identify ads that contain disinformation, (b) adaptation of current verification and review systems, and (c) clear explanations to advertisers on which policies have been violated when removing content or disabling accounts.
A revision process of the Code of practice on disinformation will kick off in September 2021, which will bring the signatories together to work on better aligning the Code with the Guidance.
The European Commission welcomes new signatories to join in the revision of the CoP.
Position Papers & Guidance Documents
IAB Europe members can participate in the Policy Committee to be kept up to date on all of the latest political and regulatory news and developments and get a chance to have a say in the association’s policy advocacy objectives and strategy.
For a list of recently published IAB Europe position papers and guidance documents, please visit this page.