The EU Article 29 Working Party “Opinion 2/2010 on online behavioural advertising” will bury the Web Business and will harm not only the European companies but the consumers as well
EU officials see themselves as leaders on consumer-safety issues, such as chemicals and genetically modified foods. But it is proving more difficult to create enforceable protections for the borderless, technology-driven Internet, wrote recently WSJ. It is true – the problem with the internet cookies is not like ordinary consumer protection issue and these cookies could choke Euro bureaucrats trying to “eat” them.
Under the old law, EU required websites to let consumers “opt out,” or decline, cookies, usually by choosing a Web-browser setting. But aproposed new law suggested reversing that in the new law, requiring instead that a user “opt in” before cookies are placed.
This new proposal just burst an explosion of strong objections and for the first time in the modern European history united whole business against such ridiculous law regulation.
”The Article 29 group is suggesting that whatever “information” is stored in cookies, it must be treated as if it were “personal” data and as such should be subject to explicit, prior consent. The Directive currently does not require an opt-in for cookies. In practice such a requirement would mean that users would have to confirm every single cookie placed on their PCs, leading to a permanent disruption of their Internet experience. The industry believes this is a gross misinterpretation of the intention of the Directive and a misrepresentation of the type of data typically collected and processed for the purposes of serving interest-based advertising to consumers on our websites. The ePrivacy Directive acknowledged that the controls in modern web browsers give users full and granular control over cookies.” , said Stephan Noller, IAB Europe Chair of the Policy Committee.
(Cookies are small pieces of text, stored on a user’s computer by a web browser. They are used by almost every website and are the backbone of the modern internet as websites use a lot of embedded content and services such as widgets from third party providers. Major browsers and similar applications allow users to control cookies by specifying when and which cookies to accept and to delete; cookies are being extensively used for/in Affiliate marketing, Ad serving, Personalization and optimization of user experience, Shopping carts, Web analytics and more)
It is strongly supported also by the World Federation of Advertisers (the only global organization representing the common interests of marketers. Through its network of 58 national advertiser associations on five continents and over 60 of the world’s biggest marketers, WFA represents around 90% of global marketing communications); EASA – European Advertising Standards Alliance, the single voice of advertising self-regulation; AIG – The Advertising Information Group; EACA – The European Association of Communications Agencies; Fedma – The Federation for European Direct and Interactive Marketing; OPA Europe and many more…
“That led to a draft stating that a cookie couldn’t be placed without “prior consent” from the user. A prior-consent rule “was not something we could live with,” says Kimon Zorbas, the IAB vice president for Europe. “The internet as we know it today would be impossible without the use of these cookies. Many of the most popular websites and services would be unusable or severely restricted and so it is important that this provision is not implemented in a way which would damage the experience of internet users or place a burden on EU companies that use the web.”
For people who are concerned about cookies this means web browsers that are easily user configurable give you privacy options you can set BEFORE you go browsing; so when you enter a website you already have YOUR chosen privacy settings in place. And after all people visit websites because they choose to, not because they are being forced by the marketer.
Data protection and privacy are an important part of the development of the internet, which relies on mutually beneficial collaboration. Consumers should be confident to share data, and it should be seen as vital that consumers are educated to the benefits of behavioural tracking – this is the opinion of the European Business who insists to live, work and develop itself within the modern technologiy conditions of XXI century and will not accept to be turned 15 years back because of single one ridiculous law.