Cookie proposals would be “massive nuisance”

Proposals to clarify the rules of online behavioural advertising have been heavily criticised for the impact they would have on consumers and marketers.

“The requirements insisting that internet users opt in to receive cookies are not only potentially very detrimental to the growth of the online advertising industry as a whole, but will be a massive nuisance to the user,” says Jay Stevens, vice-president and general manager international of the Rubicon Project.

Proposals to clarify the rules of online behavioural advertising have been heavily criticised for the impact they would have on consumers and marketers. “The requirements insisting that internet users opt in to receive cookies are not only potentially very detrimental to the growth of the online advertising industry as a whole, but will be a massive nuisance to the user,” says Jay Stevens, vice-president and general manager international of the Rubicon Project.

“This idea seems to have been developed in a legislative vacuum, with no-one fully understanding the impact this will have on the only bright star in the media industry – online advertising. This would put up an artificial barrier to growth,” he adds.

Stevens was responding to an Opinion published on 24th June by the highly-influential Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. The party recognised the advantages of behavioural advertising to both sides, but stressed that users are bound by the revised ePrivacy Directive. This requires informed consent before cookies are installed.

In their Opinion, the members of the working party said/ “The European Data Protection Authorities call for simple and effective mechanisms for users to affirmatively give their consent for online behavioural advertising. Equally simple and effective mechanisms should be established for users to withdraw their consent. Currently, three out of the four most widely-used browsers have as default setting to accept all cookies. Not changing a default setting can not be considered, in most cases, as meaningful consent.”

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