Interactive Advertising Bureau
04 March 2022

IAB Europe Appeals Belgian Data Protection Authority Ruling

4 March, Brussels, Belgium: IAB Europe confirms it will file an appeal today against the administrative ruling by the Belgian Data Protection Authority (APD) regarding IAB Europe and the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF). 

IAB Europe disputes the controversial and novel allegation that it acts as a controller for the recording of TC Strings (the digital signals created to capture data subjects’ choices on how their personal data can be processed), and as a joint controller for the dissemination of TC Strings and other data processing done by TCF participants under the OpenRTB protocol.

The appeal, filed before the Market Court in Belgium (part of the Brussels Court of Appeal), includes a request for suspension of the execution of the decision, which would pause all orders of the APD until a decision on the merits is rendered by the Market Court. 

“Immediate enforcement of the decision would deny an appeal of its relevance and effectiveness, and would have irreversible and serious consequences for our organisation”, said Townsend Feehan, IAB Europe CEO.

“Eliminating the grounds on which the APD considers IAB Europe to be a data controller would reduce the TCF to a mere open-source standard without enforceable policies. Paradoxically, this would render ineffective the consumer protection objective that underlies the APD’s jurisdiction, and the apparent reason for which proceedings against IAB Europe exist. We do not believe this is the aim of the law, nor that self-regulatory standards should be weakened because of a misguided interpretation of the law. This is why we are challenging the decision.”

IAB Europe will communicate on the outcome of the request for suspension in the next few weeks.

For further information, please read and download the IAB Europe FAQ Document here.

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