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European news publishers concerned over EU’s online privacy laws proposal

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

European news publishers concerned over EU’s online privacy laws proposal

As part of a wider data protection and copyright rules overhaul, the EU is considering a “privacy by design” solution for cookies, which would allow web users to opt out of cookies by using a general “switch”, incorporated in the web browser and applying on all websites.

According to the Financial Times, the alliance of news publishers is contesting the move, saying that offering an universal opt-out would result in the majority of people choosing to decline cookies. This, in turn, would put publishers at a disadvantage, as it would hinder them from serving targeted advertising to their readers. 

“Given that 90% of [digital] usage across Europe is concentrated in the hands of just four companies: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla, this [proposal]... has the potential to exacerbate the asymmetry of power between individual publishers and these global digital gateways,” says the alliance’s letter, the Guardian reported.

Over the recent months talk of an online advertising “duopoly” has intensified, as the online ad revenue share of Google and Facebook draws more and more attention. The alliance, which includes major European publishers such as the Financial Times, Guardian, Le Monde, Spiegel, Telegraph, Daily Mail and Les Echoes, argues that the universal opt-out switch for cookies would only exacerbate this development.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2017-05-29 11:17

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.


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