The European Parliament could soon vote on an amendment requiring user consent when placing cookies on their machines. Some believe the proposed rule could disrupt the Internet experience of European citizens in addition to standard Web publishing and online advertising operations.
"This amendment, if adopted, risks changing the way the Internet works today," argued Kimon Zorbas, IAB Europe vice president. "The information provided in the types of notices proposed can typically be found in Web site privacy policies, which are already required by law."
The European online advertising trade body has urged legislators to reject the proposed alterations.
IAB President Alain Heureux suggested that although the requirements could be implemented at browser level, there is a danger that EU member state legislators could interpret the directive in a way that could have negative implications on user experience, potentially resulting in a series of pop-ups and other notices as users interact with online sites and services.
"For the consumer, we argue that this is bad, and unrealistic for the functionality of the Internet. The amendment would need to be extremely clear; there is a danger that this could be interpreted in a dangerous way," said Heureux.
As well as being used to store information such as user preferences and language information, cookies are used by many online services and site publishers to target users with specific information, content, or advertising. The IAB U.K. recently published best practice guidelines surrounding the use of behaviorally targeted advertising, specifically around the issues of user education and consent.
"[Alexander Alvaro] has not provided any evidence that there are problems with the way cookies function today," Zorbas stated. "Mr. Alvaro is disregarding the fact that today's technologies provide users with the means to manage cookies through refusal, defined acceptance, and deletion of cookies."
Heureux expects European legislators to vote on the amendment by June at the latest.
Want to learn more?
Attend ClickZ Live New York March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 60 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT