Posts tagged ‘Advertising’

Regulators, consumers or industry – Who will be the future privacy king?

 As you might have seen from a recently published note by FH , privacy is Brussels’ new catch phrase.  Few are disputing that search engines, social networking sites and other Internet related technologies offer huge opportunities for consumers and the digital economy. However, some are concerned that increasing the collection and processing of personal data on Internet jeopardizes privacy.  EU Commissioners, NGOs, companies and MEPs – everyone wants to defend European citizen’s right to privacy. But as new developments unfold  who will take the lead – regulators, consumers or industry?

At a recent conference a European Commission official said: “Our ambition is clear: we want the best data protection system in the world”. In contrast with the Obama administration who has been relatively quiet on privacy (but very keen on driving other ICT issues such as cyber security and network neutrality) this aspiration could put the EU in the driving seat in global discussions about borderless personal data flows. The Commission’s clear ambition in combination with mounting pressure from stakeholders  to renew data protection rules seem to make the case for additional regulation pretty straight forward.

However, the appetite for self regulation is building-up. Several companies have already signed up to the UK Internet Advertising Bureau’s good practice principles for online behavioural advertising aiming to put the user in control when data is collected. The infancy of business models with revenue streams mainly stemming from Internet has lead to a knowledge gap between policy makers and industry. This gap offers an opportunity for industry players who want to stay ahead of the legislative curve by engaging in dialogue and adopting self-regulatory codes.

No matter if EU policy makers or industry take the lead we can count on the fact that grass root mobilization among users will continue to force companies to backtrack on their online advertising practices. British Telecom’s Phorm experiment and Facebook’s “Beacon” advertising program are just two of many examples where users have waged war against privacy intrusive business practices. 

Clearly, regulators, consumers and industry are on the lookout for new online privacy rules.  Who will be the kingmaker of future privacy regulation?

Magnus

June 15, 2009 at 12:39 pm 2 comments

Google ads for politicians

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Expanding our reading beyond our traditional EN sources, we note that the use of Google Adwords for political campaigns has caught the attention of our Italian friends at left leaning daily la Repubblica. Surely our MEPs, Italian or otherwise, should be looking into this tactic with elections in mind to reach out to voters interested in the issues they deal with here in Brussels? With this in mind, perhaps that’s why we hear rumour of an e-campaigning event being hosted by Google here in Brussels (p.s. we’d love an invite if Google people are listening/reading). Not sure MEPs have Obama’s budget but still, every click counts (both for MEP and Google I expect).

For those MEPs thinking about it, this article from much earlier in the US primary season contains some hints from experts from Google and elsewhere on what to do and not to do. Tips iinclude advertising on your opponents name and advertising around those issues that poll top of voters concerns.

In any case, we’ve also been noticing a veritable increase in interest in using the tool to reach out to get  messages out here in Brussels. Can you spot any of our current ads I wonder?

Jimmy (still searching for suitable word beginning with J for new trend of signing posts on this blog)

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September 24, 2008 at 9:23 pm 5 comments


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A blog on politics, policy, public affairs and communications in Brussels and the European Union. The blog is written by the team at Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect those of the company or its clients. You will find the contact details of our team at www.fleishman-hillard.eu

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