Give users genuine control over ad targeting, MEPs urged – TechCrunch

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More than 30 civil society organizations, privacy protection technology companies, and European starters are the last to convince EU lawmakers to put strict limits on surveillance ads as big votes are coming to update Block’s digital rules. I’m doing a trick.

The European Parliament will soon vote, Digital service law (DSA) — and 30 signatories to the Joint Statement on “Surveillance-Based Advertising” have amended the DSA to strengthen rules on how people’s data can be used to target ads to MEP. I’m asking you to support me.

In a nutshell, they should say that inferred personal data (what the platform can learn / infer about you by snooping on your digital activity) should be outside the scope of ad targeting, and advertisers are aware. It claims that only the information that has been targeted should be available and is provided to them to target the marketing by the individual in question.

As an example of how it works, the platform should regularly select some categories of products / interests that users are willing to receive marketing offers such as beauty products, hiking / outdoor equipment, holidays, etc. May be asked for. , Or culture / art.

In that case, they will only be able to use such signals for ad targeting, making them context-sensitive rather than eerie.

This is not a very radical proposal.

Regulators in the region have, in fact, warned that tracking-based advertising is based on borrowing time for years. Whole body violation Of EU privacy law.The actual regulatory enforcement against Adtech Difficult to find..

Most recently, UK Data Protection Commissioner Encourages industry to reform — And away from the current tracking and profiling paradigm — says that the future must provide Internet users with a true choice of how to target their marketing messages.

The signers of the statement calling on parliamentarians to postpone this type of advertising targeting reform argue that it will bring great benefits.

The theory of harm around micro-targeting advertising has been the subject of much debate in recent years. The risks of behavioral targeting are associated with discrimination, exploitation of vulnerable people / groups, and election intervention in democracy.

The problem with surveillance advertising is that it lacks true transparency and is not publicly accountable.

However, there are other ways to target ads that don’t require creepy snooping or behavioral profiling.

“We are able to effectively deliver targeted digital advertising, respecting user choice and privacy (ie, without confidential surveillance practices), and specially provided by users for that purpose. I am confident that only the data will be processed in a transparent and accountable manner. “The signer writes.

This statement doubles the use of “estimated data that reveals user vulnerabilities and, by definition, is collected or generated without user awareness and control,” as “particularly problematic practices in digital advertising.” Insist.Practice to cause serious harm at the individual and social level, as evidenced by extensive academic research and recent revelations, including: Facebook file And that Testimony of whistleblower Frances Haugen also Mozilla’s YouTube Regret Study.. “

“Respecting user choice, autonomy, and expressed (unpredictable) preferences is the greatest benefit to companies engaged in digital advertising,” they continue. Investigation result Seventy-five percent of French and German social media users find it uncomfortable to target their ads with behavioral data.

“Small businesses legally use online advertising to reach their clients, but they don’t have to rely on intrusive surveillance as a way to do that,” they further claim.

The statement suggests that the current Adtech’s main beneficiaries of “free surveillance for all”, as well as the extensive and extensive tracking of Internet users’ secrets, are likely to be US tech giants. doing.

Progressive European starters have been trying to expand their ad targeting privacy-respecting approach for years, but are at a competitive disadvantage due to the misuse of data that violates the rights of U.S. giants. ..

“The only actors who will benefit from exploiting user vulnerabilities and cross-site tracking are large US-based online platforms interested in maintaining a dominant position in the digital advertising market.” The statement argues for “regulatory incentives.” We will enable startups focused on “progressive” privacy to expand their rights-respecting services and make them more accessible to smaller brands.

“Ending the most invasive practices will strengthen small European brands and the GDPR. [General Data Protection Regulation] Compliant digital services, and local media that promotes fair competition in digital advertising and restores the power of quality. “

This is the argument that, in theory, we need to work well with parliamentary elected European representatives.

But in recent years, the American tech giant led by Google and Facebook has Pour millions into lobbying in Brussels To keep lawmakers away from policies that could damage the surveillance-based business model. Therefore, this is by no means a fair battle.

An important part of the tech giant’s lobbying claim was a proposal that stricter rules on targeting would hurt European SMEs.Indeed, Facebook (now Meta) has never been Claims that banning surveillance ads will destroy the block’s economy..

But of course they would say so …

The 17 civil society organizations that sign the Joint Statement are: PanoptykonFoundation, Access Now, Alliance4Europe, Amnesty International, Article 19, Bits of Freedom, Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties), Defend Democracy, Fair Vote, Global Witness, Irish Council For Civil Freedom, #jesuisla, Norwegian Consumers Council, Ranking Digital Rights (RDR), Signal Network, SumOfUs and Uplift.

The 14 business representatives who support the call to ban the use of estimated data for ad targeting are:

Disconnect, Casey Oppenheim, Co-Founder and CEO
DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and Founder
Ecosia, Christian Kroll, CEO
Fastmail, CEO Bron Gondwana, and staff chief Nicola Nye
Kobler, Erik Bugge, CEO
Mailfence, Patrick De Schutter, co-founder and MD
Mojeek, Colin Hayhurst, CEO
Opt-out Advertising, Tom van Bentheim, CEO
Piwik PRO, Maciej Zawadzinski, CEO
Quodari, Paul Pennarts, CEO
Startmail, Robert beens, CEO
Start Page, Robert Beans, CEO
Strossle, Ha kon Tillier, CEO
Tutanota, Matthias Pfau, CEO

Early promotion by numerous MEPs towards the end of last year Completely ban surveillance-based ad targeting What was included in the DSA was not widespread.

The parliamentary commission is back Increased restrictions on tracking-based advertising Another draft package of the EU bill that applies to the most powerful Internet gatekeepers (the vast majority of US giants), also known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), strengthens ad targeting consent requirements and behavioral targeting. Add a complete ban. Minors.

However, 31 signatories of today’s statement argue that IMCO’s coordination is not sufficiently advanced for the data industry surveillance complex, writing: Compromise and exclude digital advertising monitoring practices (such as inferred data use) while supporting the true choices of the user. “

“Unfortunately, the IMCO Commission’s advertising compromises are very weak and remain largely unchanged,” said Karolina Iwańska, a lawyer and policy analyst at the Panoptykon Foundation. “Big Tech’s” SME “lobbying was very successful. .. “

“we, true true A compromise between a complete ban on the use of personal data (currently unrealistic) and the status quo (everything allowed if consent is collected) is possible, but sadly ignored by Congress. ” She added. We now want to help reform personalized advertising by persuading MEP to limit targeting to expressed tastes.

Efforts will need to work fast if it is to achieve that goal.

According to Iwańska, campaign participants have drafted an amendment, but it must be submitted with the support of the MEP so that the entire parliament can vote at the plenary session. Obviously, it will be this push crunch time in the next few days.

Under the EU’s joint legislative process, the Commission proposes a legislative process, followed by a broader process of negotiations between Member States and the European Parliament on policy details. Adopted.

Both DSA and DMA were proposed by the European Commission at the end of 2020. DSA aims to update the block’s e-commerce rules and increase accountability for digital businesses by expanding the requirements that define additional areas of responsibility for content.

DMA is aimed at the competition of Internet giants and the market power that overwhelms consumers, but it has a set of pre-rules aimed at preventing abusive practices.

Trilogue negotiations on the DSA will begin shortly after Congress confirms its position at the main meeting next week. And finally, the final text will need to be voted on by another plenary session in Congress. Therefore, campaigners who oppose surveillance advertising may have other points in the process of trying to drive strategic modifications.

One thing is clear: lobbying will continue this year.

Restrictions on advertising targeting in the EU also have to wait for the law to be adopted and enforced. EU lawmakers are set to apply a grace period for digital business to comply. Therefore, rule changes will not take at least months.

DMA (which seems to be going through the joint legislative process fairly quickly) could be up and running relatively quickly, perhaps in 2023, but DSA could take some time to come into effect. I have. Probably not until 2024.

Meanwhile, tracking and targeting will continue …

Give users genuine control over ad targeting, MEPs urged – TechCrunch Source link Give users genuine control over ad targeting, MEPs urged – TechCrunch

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