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 its 2020 work programme, the European Commission stated that it will propose a new Digital Services Act (DSA) to strengthen the single market and protect citizens and their rights. IAB Europe’s preliminary views on themes already being discussed in connection with the DSA package can be found here.

For more detailed information, look at our page on the Digital Services Act.

ePrivacy Regulation

The ePrivacy Directive stipulates that member states must create rules that require website operators to inform the user concerned about the use of cookies and obtain their consent for the use of (most) cookies. Now, the Commission has proposed repealing and replacing the Directive with an ePrivacy Regulation.

As a matter of EU law, Regulations can be relied upon directly by citizens, meaning that EU Member States no longer have a role in interpreting its application to fit within their national legal order. In its current form, the Regulation would require the consent of users in line with the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation for the lawful use of cookies, advertising identifiers (e.g. IDFA and AAID), device fingerprinting, etc. to collect information (not just personal data) and to deliver targeted advertising. 

The proposed Regulation would also mandate browsers and other software to provide the option to actively prevent data collection through cookies et al., and to force users to make a choice as to their privacy preferences during installation. This would be the case not just for web browsers, but for any application or device which can connect to the internet. 

For more information on the political and legal aspects of the proposal, check out IAB Europe’s ‘Cookie Regulation FAQ’, along with IAB Europe’s (updated: October 2018) position paper on the proposed ePrivacy Regulation.

Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights

The Commission has publicly committed to adopting a “follow the money” approach aiming to cut the revenue flows that drive commercial-scale IPR infringers into their activities. Under this approach, the Commission facilitated the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding among industry participants, whose signatories put in place mechanisms to minimise the placing of online advertising on websites which infringe IPRs. By removing a revenue stream for IPR infringers, the thinking goes, there is a much lower economic incentive for the infringement of IPR. The approach therefore seeks to target only commercial-scale infringers. 

IAB Europe became a signatory to the European Commission’s Memorandum of Understanding on online advertising and IPR (MoU) on 25 June 2018, together with four national IABs and nine IAB Europe corporate members. IAB Europe’s role is to continue promotion of the MoU to member companies, which will mostly consist of informing members about its existence and reporting on meetings. New signatories may only join the MoU after the end of the assessment period (June 2019, 1 year after signature).

In 2019, the MoU signatories unanimously agreed both to continue the MoU work track and open the Memorandum to new signatories. On this basis, a new signatory was announced at the stakeholders meeting on 23 September. 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.

Initial findings from the independent monitoring of the MoU effect reveal that a modest positive impact on the issue of ad misplacement on IP infringing sites. The full results of the monitoring will be published alongside a study of effectiveness of the MoU, at this point in time expected in the course of Q2-Q3 2020.

Position Papers & Guidance documents

IAB Europe members can join the Policy committee to be kept up to date on all of the latest political and regulatory news and developments. IAB Europe shares updates with this group and members are invited to log in below to access the latest policy positions and guidance documents from the IAB Europe policy team.

For a list of recently published IAB Europe position papers and guidance documents, please visit this page.

Monthly Policy & Legal Updates

The Policy Brief is a monthly newsletter from IAB Europe featuring the most important policy activities undertaken by IAB Europe, its members and stakeholders.

European Digital Policy
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