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World Federation of Advertisers warns industry to wake up to consequences of EU data drive

By John Glenday | Reporter

December 6, 2016 | 2 min read

The World Federation of Advertisers has issued a warning over the impact of planned European Union data regulations, fearing that the policy presents a ‘significant challenge’ which has yet to be properly addressed.

At heart the issue revolves around a tighter privacy regime contained within the General Data Protection Regulation bill which would mandate that companies cannot make use of an individual’s data without their express consent.

An aghast Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers, commented: "I'm surprised more marketers have not woken up to the implications of GDPR. The new regulations will be a significant challenge for the ecosystem and it's difficult to forecast how technology will adjust.

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“It will mostly affect companies who rely on third party data, and agency networks that serve ads on the basis of data but don't have a direct relationship with the public."

Due to take effect from May 2018 the legislation would require firms employing tracking and targeting techniques to begin using pop-up alerts asking users to grant permission – erasing the invisible, behind the scenes process which takes place at present.

The EU is seeking to put itself on the front foot as champion of consumer rights following a number of high-profile lapses, notably an incident at Yahoo where hackers stole information pertaining to 500m accounts.

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