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AIG Newsletter 22 April 2024

Advertising Information Group-Newsletter

Lesedauer: 8 Minuten



In this week’s bumper edition: the EDPB adopted an Opinion on Consent or Pay stating large online platforms cannot obtain valid consent for behavioural advertising if users must choose between consenting or paying a fee. The EDPB urged platforms to offer free alternatives without such ads. At the EP, Commissioner Breton outlined the EU's industrial policy for bolstering the green and digital transitions, while the EDPS Supervisor marked 20 years by underlining adaptability amidst evolving tech. The EP adopted additional rules on GDPR enforcement, and a leaked draft Council document on future digital policy detailed priorities like digital sovereignty, infrastructure, skills and global standards. Meanwhile, an informal Telecoms Council meeting discussed enhancing cybersecurity, unified digital markets and EU control over critical infrastructure. Finally, a study presented to the EP concluded adequate public funding is key for public media's market share.


During its latest plenary, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted an Opinion addressing the validity of consent for behavioural advertising through 'consent or pay' models used by large online platforms. EDPB Chair Anu Talus stated platforms should give users a real choice, as current models often require users to either consent to data processing or pay, without understanding the full implications.

The EDPB considered that in most cases, large online platforms cannot obtain valid consent if users must choose between consenting to behavioural advertising or paying a fee. Platforms should consider providing an equivalent free alternative without behavioural ads. If charging a fee, they should offer an additional free option with minimal or no advertising data processing. The EDPB stresses consent does not absolve GDPR principles like purpose limitation and data minimisation. Factors like conditionality, detriment, power imbalance and granularity should be assessed to determine if consent is truly free. Platforms must avoid making data protection a paid feature and ensure users understand the value and consequences of their choices.


On 9 April, the EP's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) held a structured dialogue with Commissioner Thierry Breton. The discussion centred on the Commission's approach to strengthening Europe's industrial, digital, and defence sectors through increased resilience, innovation, and strategic autonomy. Key points included significant investments across industries, advancements in digital transitions like AI and cybersecurity, the importance of the space and defence sectors amid geopolitical tensions, calls for comprehensive strategies to support SMEs and digital adoption, concerns around the Green Deal's sustainability, raw material independence, and the social impacts of industrial policies.

Commissioner Breton highlighted the role of industrial policy in driving the green and digital transitions through investments and regulatory reforms to bolster resilience and sovereignty. He discussed legislative progress on digital sovereignty and emerging tech, the need for enhanced defence readiness and industry support including Ukrainian integration, and collaborative efforts on initiatives like the Digital Networks Act to promote competitive digital growth while addressing financing needs. Breton also emphasised balanced regulation to enable digitalisation while avoiding over-regulation and adapting to evolving political and social demands.


Presenting his Annual Report 2023 on 9 April, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Wojciech Wiewiórowski emphasised his institution's adaptability amidst an evolving digital and regulatory landscape. He stated that 2023 demanded flexibility, with multilateral and cross-border collaboration proving crucial to achieving and elevating data protection standards in the EU and beyond. As the EDPS marked its 20th Anniversary in 2024, Wiewiórowski underlined his institution's role in anticipating and preparing for data protection challenges over the next two decades.

Wiewiórowski detailed actions demonstrating this adaptability, such as steering AI regulation to ensure a human-centric approach complying with privacy and data protection rights. The EDPS championed global data protection standards mirroring the EU's values through initiatives like the AI Resolution. It warned of privacy risks in the proposed Regulation on Child Sexual Abuse Material. Using its powers, the EDPS addressed societal matters like inspecting Frontex's data processing of people entering EU borders. Looking ahead, it had invested in technology monitoring and innovation to direct privacy-oriented development and build services practising EU data protection precepts. As the EDPS turns 20, Wiewiórowski aims to reflect on links between data protection, technology, policy and other fields to tackle the challenges over the next two decades.


On 10 April, the EP Plenary adopted as amended the report on Laying down additional procedural rules relating to the enforcement of GDPR with 329 votes in favour, 213 against and 79 abstentions. Please click here more information on the voting results. Note that with this vote the EP has concluded the first reading on the file. The file will be picked up by the new Parliament after the elections.


On 12 April, the Council’s Draft Conclusions on the Future of EU Digital Policy were leaked. The document outlines the EU's strategic priorities and legislative frameworks for advancing its digital policy. It emphasises reinforcing digital sovereignty while maintaining openness, enhancing digital infrastructure, and ensuring secure, inclusive, and sustainable digital transformation in line with EU values and fundamental rights. Key points include:

  • Digital Sovereignty and Open Strategic Autonomy: Strengthening the EU's ability to navigate its digital transformation independently while cooperating globally. 
  • Digital Rules and Governance: Prioritising effective implementation of new legislative acts like the DSA and DMA, ensuring alignment with existing laws, and reducing administrative burdens. 
  • Societal Effects of Digitalisation: Addressing societal risks by enhancing enforcement of digital regulations, promoting digital identity solutions, and assessing societal impacts, including on climate and economy. 
  • Digital and cutting-edge technologies: Supporting innovation in cutting-edge technologies like AI, blockchain, semiconductors, virtual worlds and 6G through strategic multi-country projects and European digital consortia. 
  • Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy: Developing robust, secure, and resilient digital infrastructure, including advancements in cloud services and data strategies that support EU's competitiveness and digital sovereignty. 
  • Digital skills: Increasing the efforts to bridge the digital divide, underlining the role of the Digital Decade Policy Programme in ensuring that the digital transformation responds to the needs of the European society. 
  • Green and Digital Transition: Encouraging the co-evolution of digital and green transitions, highlighting the need to mitigate the environmental impacts of digital technologies. 
  • Digital Government: Promoting interoperable digital public services and supporting the digital transformation of public administrations for increased resilience and efficiency. 
  • International Dimension of EU digital policy: Strengthening international digital partnerships and trade agreements, ensuring global internet governance aligns with EU values and securing a leadership role in international digital standards.

 The document invited further discussion and reflections on these points in upcoming council meetings, aiming to finalise these strategies to enhance the EU's digital policy framework.


An informal meeting of the Telecommunications Council was held on 11-12 April. Ministers discussed key goals central to Europe's digital revolution. Firstly, enhancing cybersecurity and the security of digital infrastructure was prioritised as a top concern. Secondly, emphasis was placed on creating a harmonised, competitive and sustainable European Digital Single Market. The Louvain-la-Neuve Declaration marked a unified commitment by Member States to entrust the European Commission with creating tools to safeguard citizens' online freedom of expression while ensuring their protection. Ministers underscored Europe's need for digital infrastructure sovereignty to bolster resilience against cyber threats and securing critical infrastructure under European control.

Additionally, ministers focused on enhancing control over digital connectivity infrastructure to improve resilience against cyber-attacks and disruptions to critical communications systems; addressing threats posed by cyber-attacks and fake profiles undermining online democracy; promoting security, sustainability and competitiveness of the digital market while ensuring connectivity across all regions and consumer rights; and pushing for a unified telecommunications market across Europe to facilitate investment, spur innovation, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable resource use in the sector. Overall, the Council's efforts aimed to make Europe a leader in digital sovereignty while ensuring a safe, inclusive digital future.


On 9 April, the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) heard a presentation on the study "Public financing of news media", requested by the Parliament in 2021 to develop guidelines and promote best practice sharing among Member States. The study was prepared by Henningsen Consulting and the Technopolis Group. Its author, Ms Astrid Henningsen, explained it mapped financing measures, analysed EU trends, identified needs and issues, and highlighted recent good practices in public news media financing. 

The study concluded public funding heavily relies on public revenues (80%), amounting to €22.2 billion in 2021, with substantial discrepancies between Member States. Henningsen outlined public service media funding models like licence fees, state budget allocations and earmarked taxes, noting substantive reforms shifting towards state budget models which increase political influence risks. Between 2021-2023 several states reviewed public financing. Four main EU models were identified: maximalist, mixed/dual, selective support, and mono-modal support. While public support increased recently, Henningsen argued adequate funding is necessary for public media market share. Addressing MEPs, she stated audiences trust public over private media, but trust varies across the EU, with no model intrinsically better as advantages and shortcomings depended on objectives.


22 April: A digital Renaissance in Europe (CEPS)

23 April: The Great Debate - Retail Media. (IAB Europe)

23 April: Webinar IP and Artificial Intelligence – Advanced. (EISMEA)

23 April: European Cyber Agora 2024. (The German Marshall Fund & Microsoft)

23 April: Multistakeholder high-level Dialogue (OECD, Science and Tech Policy Ministerial)

24 April: AI in the economy: balancing disruption and development. (Bruegel)

23 April: AI talks @ ETUI: How can we use the AI Act to defend our rights? (ETUI)

30 April: Ad Fraud in Digital Advertising. (IAB Europe)

2 May: The OMR Festival 2024, Hamburg, Germany (IAB Europe).

14 May: TIC Summit – What does it take to build trust in AI? (TIC Council).

14 May: European Elections Lab 3: Countering disinformation in the media (EAEA)

15 May: European Digital Summit 2024 (European Business Summits)

16 May: Webinar & Horizon Results Platform: IP and Software (EISMEA)

Stand: 22.04.2024