Results tagged “Alex Propes” from IABlog

In the wake of revelations regarding U.S. intelligence programs, the European Union is calling for a revised U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework that could increase the compliance burden for IAB members.

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According to European data protection law, companies are not allowed to transfer consumer data outside of the EU unless there is a guarantee that the data will receive an “adequate” level of protection, as determined by the European Commission. In 2000, the EU found the Safe Harbor Framework proposed by the U.S., a voluntary self-certification program that requires participants to publicly adhere to principles such as notice, choice, access, and enforcement, satisfied the “adequacy” requirement of European law. 

Since then, the Safe Harbor Framework has provided more than 3,000 businesses, including a significant share from the digital advertising industry, a means to transfer data across the Atlantic in a streamlined and cost-effective manner that ensures consumer protection. The Framework accomplishes this by offering U.S. companies an efficient compliance process, and European companies and consumers an easily accessible list of compliant participants.

This Framework has been a major success for businesses of all sizes and types, and has allowed for borderless innovation and job creation. Today, the combined U.S./EU digital advertising marketplace represents $92 billion in annual revenue, nearly 70% of the global industry. In the U.S. more than 300 Safe Harbor certified companies use the Framework to conduct advertising services. From a recent poll of IAB member companies, an even higher percentage of our members participate in the program, thereby allowing them to efficiently build an international digital supply chain. 

Despite its many successes, critics of the program argue that recent revelations of the scale of U.S. surveillance activities necessitate a strengthened Framework. In response, last November the European Commission proposed 13 recommendations to “restore trust in data flows between the EU and the U.S.”

The stated goals of the EU’s recommendations are to increase transparency, create a more active enforcement and auditing process, limit the scope of U.S. authorities’ access to EU data, and improve dispute resolution processes. Several of these recommendations reinforce the original Framework without creating unnecessary burden on businesses. Other recommendations, such as requiring companies to publish the privacy provisions of their contracts with subcontractors and notify the U.S. Department of Commerce of onward transfers of personal data under the Safe Harbor Framework, are not workable for industry and provide no additional protections for consumers.

The IAB Public Policy Office is working to ensure that the updated Framework takes into account the digital advertising industry’s perspectives. Our industry represents a significant share of the U.S. and EU economies, allowing us to provide meaningful insights into the impact changes to the Framework will have on digital advertising and the economy at large. We are also coordinating our research and messaging internationally through the IAB global network of 26 European-based IABs to more fully capture the impact any changes to the Safe Harbor Framework will have on the transatlantic trading relationship and the international business community. Our advocacy is taking place on both sides of the Atlantic, which is the only way we can effectively negotiate an acceptable solution.

The U.S. and EU negotiators have expressed interest in finding solutions to the EU’s recommendations by this summer. As negotiations progress we will continue to push for a workable Framework that allows for the free flow of data between the World’s two largest digital marketplaces. For more information please contact Alex Propes at [email protected].

About the Author

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Alex Propes

Alex Propes is Senior Manager, Public Policy, at the IAB.

The Digital advertising industry exists in a complex legislative and regulatory environment. Policies in Internet governance, privacy, advertising, taxation, and intellectual property all have significant impacts on the growth and direction of the industry.

 And these policies are not being developed in one place. Within the Washington, DC beltway, laws and industry guidance are promulgated by regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission, the judicial system and past precedent set by court cases, and legislation enacted by Congress.

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To make this policy landscape even more complex, the digital advertising industry must also be cognizant of local and international laws. As those working in the industry know, digital advertising is borderless in nature and therefore depends upon a base level of legal cohesion among countries and regions. Disruptions stemming from policies in one nation, or U.S. state, are felt globally. Take, for example, two recent anecdotes from Europe.

On October 21, a data privacy bill before the European Parliament passed through committee on its path to becoming law. This draft bill, created in response to the recent revelations about U.S. national security data-tracking practices, directly impacts the digital advertising industry in several ways. For one, the bill calls for explicit consent before a wider variety of processing activities. The bill would also create new barriers to transferring information about EU citizens to the U.S. Perhaps most importantly, the bill proposes a new definition of personally-identifiable information that includes “online identifiers.” The European Parliament will now negotiate with the Council of the EU to reach a compromise agreement.

Contemporaneously, the EU is considering whether or not to allow the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework to continue. This framework allows participating U.S. companies to comply with EU privacy rules through a streamlined self-certification process. Under this framework, Over 4000 companies, and many IAB members, have demonstrated their high level of privacy protection in order to work with European companies and serve European citizens. Although Safe Harbor is focused on addressing commercial privacy practices, the value of the Framework has been questioned in recent months in association with national security concerns.

Were digital advertising practices and technologies static, there would already be a complicated set of rules to follow. But industry practitioners know that digital advertising is never static. Innovations are constantly created that raise new public policy questions. This is evidenced by the FTC’s recent interest in native advertising and the Internet of things.

To help the digital advertising industry identify the policies relevant to them, the IAB has created an online Legislative and Regulatory Tracker. This webpage summarizes draft legislation and regulations that will impact our ecosystem, and categorizes these proposed laws by subject, such as children’s privacy, location privacy, and trade. It also offers IAB’s positions on the draft laws, providing further insight into how IAB is working to promote growth in the interactive marketplace on behalf of its members. Whether you’re a publisher, advertising network, or marketer, we hope you find this service helpful in navigating the complex policy environment.

This tracker will continually be updated and expanded, so check back regularly for up-to-date information on the policies that could affect your business. For more updates on the IAB’s public policy work, visit the IAB public policy website. If you have questions about the tracker or IAB’s other public policy initiatives, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

About the Author

sp_propes_alex.jpg

Alex Propes

Alex Propes is Senior Manager, Public Policy, at the IAB.

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