Interactive Advertising Bureau
13 April 2016

Statement on the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation

Brussels, 14 April 2016 – IAB Europe takes note of the European Parliament’s vote adopting comprehensive new rules for the protection of personal data.

The European Parliament today voted in favor of new comprehensive rules on the protection of personal data and privacy to take effect in 2018. The Council of the EU already endorsed the text. Companies now have 24 months to become compliant with the regulation.

“In many ways the General Data Protection Regulation is an imperfect piece of legislation, but there is no use in crying over spilled milk. What is important now is to ensure legal certainty for businesses. Companies are faced with the herculean task of becoming compliant with the new rules in time by adapting their products, services, processes and privacy policies,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe. “It is now the joint responsibility of industry and regulators to work together to determine how to make the new rules work in practice.”

“Our hope is that we can soon find find stability in what is currently an uncertain regulatory environment. The regulation aspires to comprehensively regulate the use of personal data in the EU, adapting the legal framework to the online environment. What we must avoid is that the recently-launched review of the ePrivacy Directive leads to a renewed discussion on data protection rules and a further layer of regulation for identifiers, such as cookie identifiers, that are already covered by the GDPR.”

Once the General Data Protection Regulation is published in the Official Journal of the European Union, it will take effect in 2 years and 20 days’ time.

For more information, please contact Townsend Feehan, CEO (+32478275074,

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.[1]

[1] Report by IHS, November 2015, "Paving the Way: how online advertising enables the digital economy of the future".

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