Monday, November 30, 2009

Europe Approves New Cookie Law

(Posted by Sheila Seles)

I saw this and thought of last week's presentation on online advertising. The EU recently passed a bill that will require all Internet users to opt-in to cookies. Here's a brief summary of the law from the WSJ.

This is an editorial about the law that's linked to from the WSJ article:

The author of this editorial points to a lot of valid criticisms of the law including skepticism about how the law could be effectively implemented across the EU's 27-member states. This argument is at the heart of his criticism: "behavioural advertising could be managed without wielding a sledgehammer that cracks almost all cookies. Lawmakers should identify any harms they see in today’s practices and legislate against the harms. To legislate against the technology is unnecessary, short-sighted and destined to fail." While I agree that legislating against technology is short-sighted, I wonder how can lawmakers "legislate against the harms" of behavioral advertising. Does behavioral advertising necessarily have to be harmful? People like Gary Loveman would argue that behavioral advertising can provide huge benefits to customers if done properly.

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