Online Targeting

On November 16, 2023, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) issued draft Guidelines 2/2023 on Technical Scope of Art. 5(3) of ePrivacy Directive (“Guidelines”).  Article 5(3) is the provision that requires consent before storing or accessing information on an end user’s device. Over the years it has become known as the “cookie rule,” but it is technology-agnostic.  The Guidelines expand upon guidance issued by the Article 29 Working Group in 2014, and are intended to clarify when the requirement applies to new tracking methods.  The Guidelines are open to public consultation through December 28, 2023. 

The Guidelines identify and explain the four key elements that trigger the obligation to obtain opt-in consent under Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive (“ePD”).  The Guidelines set forth an extremely broad interpretation of what constitutes “storing” and “accessing” information on a user’s device that arguably goes beyond the plain meaning of these terms.  This interpretation is likely to be relevant for companies considering how to approach the discontinuation of third-party cookies on many browsers.    Continue Reading EDPB Issues Draft Guidelines on Technical Scope of ePrivacy Directive Rules for Storage and Access

The EU is in the process of adopting the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act.  Both acts include rules applying to online-targeted advertising, commonly understood as the conveyance of messages over the Internet directed at a particular group of people who are perceived to be interested in the message in order to advance commercial or other interests.  This blog post provides an overview of the existing and soon to be adopted EU data related rules applying to online-targeted advertising.  It does not cover rules relating to ranking systems.Continue Reading EU Rules on Online Targeted Advertising

On 7 September 2020, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) adopted draft guidelines on the targeting of social media users (the “Guidelines”).  The Guidelines aim to clarify the roles and responsibilities of social media providers and “targeters” with regard to the processing of personal data for the purposes of targeting social media users.
Continue Reading EDPB Publishes Draft Guidelines on the Targeting of Social Media Users

On June 24, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its much-anticipated assessment of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) two years after it went into effect.  The assessment takes into account contributions from the European Council, the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), individual supervisory authorities, the Multi-Stakeholder Expert Group and other stakeholders.  The assessment considers a wider scope of issues surrounding GDPR implementation beyond international transfers and the cooperation and consistency mechanisms, the two topics the Commission is specifically tasked to consider under Article 97 of the GDPR.

The Commission’s overall conclusion is that the GDPR has successfully achieved its objectives of enhancing the protection of personal data and improving the free flow of personal data within the EU.  The Commission specifically highlights the key role that the GDPR plays in the EU’s “human-centric approach to technology,” and notes that it will serve as a guiding legal framework for the EU as it rolls out its broader Data Strategy.  The Commission also notes the impact that the GDPR has had worldwide, inspiring new or elevated standards for data protection in many countries, and serving as a “global standard-setter” for regulating the digital economy.

Notwithstanding these achievements, the Commission also makes clear that there are a number of areas for improvement.Continue Reading European Commission Publishes 2-Year Report on the Implementation of the GDPR

On February 4, 2020, the United Kingdom’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (“DEI”) published its final report on “online targeting” (the “Report”), examining practices used to monitor a person’s online behaviour and subsequently customize their experience.  In October 2018, the UK government appointed the DEI, an expert committee that advises the UK government on how to maximize the benefits of new technologies, to explore how data is used in shaping peoples’ online experiences. The Report sets out its findings and recommendations.
Continue Reading Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation Publishes Final Report on “Online Targeting”