Important news: GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive

There was an important development last week with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive, the data-protection laws that are circling our industry like a hungry wolf.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – or LIBE, as it’s known – met to vote on the wording of the ePrivacy Regulation, which becomes law next May alongside the GDPR.

In the run-up to this meeting, LIBE was lobbied by a consortium of our trade bodies – including the WFA and the IAB – who had this to say: “The ePrivacy Regulation threatens the data-driven advertising business model of European press publishers and other online media and services.”

This consortium asked LIBE to amend the wording of the ePrivacy Directive in a way that would allow us to carry on using cookies to track people without their permission. This strategy backfired. LIBE ended up voting for even stronger privacy rules.

As some of you know, Silence is predicting the death of cookie-based remarketing in 2018, and we are advising our clients to begin abandoning cookie data in favour of contextual data, which is, amongst other things, a lot safer because it mitigates the risk of getting fined by the Information Commissioners Office.

Conversely, other commentators have predicted that the ePrivacy Directive will be amended to protect adtech companies who collect and resell cookie data. LIBE’s decision to back stronger privacy rules is evidence, if any was needed, that this legislation will not be watered down.

If you’d like to hear our full presentation about GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive, do let us know.

We’ll definitely be discussing this topic at the end of November at our book club because the book we’ve chosen is Bob Hoffman’s Badmen, which you can read about here.

Verity Bouette, Account Director, 26th Oct 2017

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