Interactive Advertising Bureau
28 March 2024

 IAB Europe and National Associations Address Concerns on EDPB Guidelines on ePrivacy to National Ministers

In a collaborative effort to advocate for the interests of the digital advertising industry across Europe, IAB Europe, in coalition with national trade association members representing thousands of companies operating in the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem - Alliance Digital, IAB Ireland, IAB Italia, IAB Poland, IAB Spain, and IAB Sweden - have issued a joint letter addressing concerns regarding the draft guidelines 2/2023 on the Technical Scope of Art. 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive.

Previously, IAB Europe, in coalition with national trade association members, had responded to the EDPB public consultation on these draft guidelines.

The letter, addressed to respective national ministers, highlights the implications of the draft guidelines put forth by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) on the digital advertising ecosystem. While acknowledging the EDPB's aim for consistent interpretation of the ePrivacy directive, the signatories express reservations about the current draft's potential impact on digital businesses.

In the letter, signatories emphasise the need to strike a balance between privacy and innovation, underscoring the importance of providing clear guidance to industry stakeholders. It highlights concerns that the draft guidelines may extend beyond the original intent of the ePrivacy directive, potentially hindering the industry's ability to innovate confidently while upholding high privacy standards.

The letter includes use cases that would be captured due to the expansive interpretation of the ePrivacy directive ‘gaining access to information already stored in the terminal equipment of the user’. This interpretation would include internet protocols, which are essential to enabling some digital advertising. The signatories argue that such an expansive interpretation could impede essential digital advertising functionalities, including displaying ads, measuring ad delivery, and ensuring security against ad fraud.

As the draft guidelines undergo review following a public consultation, signatories urge careful consideration of these concerns. They emphasise the importance of regulatory guidance that is proportional to privacy risks and supportive of the digital industry's efforts to enhance user experience while upholding privacy standards.

The letter concludes with a request to ensure that the internet protocols underpinning essential digital advertising use cases will not fall under the technical scope of the ePrivacy directive.

The letter can be found here. For further information, please contact Ines Talavera Public Policy Manager, IAB Europe - / Helen Mussard, CMO, IAB Europe -

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