Europe is cutting down on tracking ads from tech giants

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The European Parliament has voted for tougher restrictions on how data can be used for ad targeting in a move aimed directly at social media and advertising giants such as Facebook or Google.

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The Internal Markets and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) said that gatekeepers will no longer be allowed to combine personal data “for the purpose of delivering targeted or micro-targeted advertising” unless “clear, explicit, updated, informed”. Consent is not given. In addition, personal data relating to minors may not be processed for commercial purposes (marketing, profiling, behavioral targeting, etc.).

Describing what a “gatekeeper” is, IMCO described it as a major company that provides “core platform services” most prone to unfair practices. This includes online mediation services, social networks, search engines, operating systems, online advertising services, cloud computing and video sharing services.

Protecting EU Consumers


Even though companies are required to provide core platform services in at least three EU countries, and have at least 45 million monthly end users and 10,000 business users to be considered gatekeepers, the Commission ranks other firms in this category. may designate “when they meet certain conditions,” the press release reads.

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These restrictions are still far from being word of law, however, with a full vote now required in the European Parliament due next month following a vote by the IMCO committee. After that, it goes to the Council of the European Union for negotiation with member states, meaning it will still take months for the final text to be approved.

Organizations that fail to comply, proposed new sanctions, will be fined “not less than 4% and not more than 20%” of total global turnover in the previous fiscal year by the commission.

That means today’s tech giants could pay up to $36 billion for non-compliance.

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