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EU plans on cookies and tracking-based advertising

On 28 March, the European Commission announced the launch of a new initiative: the ‘Cookie Pledge’. Under the supervision of DG JUST, the cookie pledge aims to encourage companies to simplify the way consumers express their preferences on the use of cookies across websites and to enable personalised content without tracking.

Following-up on this initiative, on 28 April, the European Commission's consumer protection department will organise the first roundtable in a series of discussions on how to improve consumer awareness of online tracking and alternatives to tracking-based advertising.

The discussions with publishers, advertisers, digital platforms, and consumer protection stakeholders will seek to propose simpler advertising models and alternative methods for the personalisation of advertising in exchange for free content.

The roundtables will allow a reflection on how the information on business models and personal data collection can be presented in a transparent manner so to allow consumers to make informed decisions. Additionally, possible alternatives to tracking-based advertising implying less intrusive personalisation solutions will be discussed.

With this initiative, the Commission wants to address the growing issue of "cookie fatigue" among internet users, observing that the current consent mechanisms for cookies can be complex and prevent users from making fully informed decisions.

However, some of the measures considered overlap with what had already been put forward in 2017 under the ePrivacy Regulation. While the latter dossier has been stuck for several years at the trilogue negotiations, the European Commission seems decided to progress anyway.


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