Interactive Advertising Bureau
10 January 2017

IAB Europe Press release: Proposed ePrivacy Regulation Fails To Improve Cookie Rules

Brussels, 10 January 2017  The Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe) is dismayed by the European Commission’s proposal for a new ePrivacy Regulation, the next iteration of the infamous cookie law.

The Commission had the perfect opportunity to prove it’s serious about better and smarter regulation by repealing an outdated and unnecessary cookie law,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe.

But instead, DG Connect has rammed through a proposal for yet more regulation before it was possible to determine whether new rules are really needed, given that the new data protection rules adopted only year ago addressing virtually the same subject matter are yet to be applied in practice.”

While the Commission finally acknowledged the important role of advertising for funding free content online, it does so at the same time as presenting a law that as a practical matter would undeniably damage the advertising business model – without achieving any real benefits for users from a privacy and data protection point of view” said Feehan.

People who thought cookie banners were annoying, will be disappointed to hear that things won’t get better,” Feehan warned. “Without significant improvements to the proposed text, users would have to actively change the settings of every single device and app they use, and more actively deal with constant requests for permission for the use of harmless cookies when visiting websites and using other digital services.”

We hope the co-legislators will assess this proposal on the merits and take good account of constructive industry suggestions that would better protect user privacy, while putting less of a burden on their time, attention and patience,” concluded Feehan.

For additional information please contact Townsend Feehan, CEO (, +32 (0) 478 27 50 74) or Matthias Matthiesen, Senior Manager, Privacy & Public Policy ( , +32 (0) 496 70 92 94)

Get the slides here.

About IAB Europe
IAB Europe is the leading European-level industry association for the online advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector by shaping the regulatory environment, investing in research and education, and developing and facilitating the uptake of business standards. Together with its members – companies and national trade associations – IAB Europe represents over 5,500 organisations. The online advertising Industry is estimated to account for over a million jobs in Europe and contribute over EUR 100 billion to European GDP, and acts as an incubator of high-end data analytics and other digital skills that can then be deployed in the wider economy.

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