ePrivacy-Verordnung : Offener Brief an das Europäische Parlament

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Das Europäische Parlament in Straßburg Bild: dpa

In einem offenen Brief an das Europäische Parlament wendet sich die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung gemeinsam mit vielen europäischen Verlagen gegen die neue ePrivacy-Verordnung der EU.

          4 Min.

          Wir dokumentieren den von vielen europäischen Verlagen unterzeichneten offenen Brief sowie die Unterschriftenliste im englischen Orginal:

          Open letter to the European Parliament / Council

          Trust, privacy and news - the need to rethink ePrivacy proposals

          We support the objective of the Commission’s draft “ePrivacy” regulation, which has the potential to clean up the digital economy, and to restore citizen trust in how their data is used online. Citizens are rightly concerned about the use of their personal data by third party companies of whom they have never heard, and have no idea about the role that they play in their digital lives online. News organisations depend on the trust of our readers, and we support a system of regulation that restores trust, and cleans up the digital environment. But news organisations also use data generated by readers to improve their products and services by offering readers journalism that is relevant to them, and serving display digital advertising that is relevant to readers.

          As a result of digital distribution, more digital citizens are accessing high quality news and quality information than ever before. But the increasing trend towards consumers accessing news content via third party gateways such as Google News, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple News, MSN (Microsoft) and Amazon Alexa is changing the way that European citizens consume news[1], making publishers ever more reliant on a small number of global platforms as a consequence. Through the current ePrivacy proposals, the Commission proposes that digital citizens must consent to non-strictly necessary tracking on a global basis when they connect to the Internet via a browser interface. Given that 90 per cent of usage across Europe is concentrated in the hands of just four companies: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla[2], this focus on obtaining user permission via the browser interface has the potential to exacerbate the asymmetry of power between individual publishers and these global digital gateways.

          The ePrivacy proposals contrast with the implication of the Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – due to come into force in May 2018 - which aims to empower user privacy by forcing sites themselves to make sure that users understand and are empowered to control the gathering of data about their browsing behaviour in context of each site that they visit. By creating a single global permission within the browser interface, the Commission´s ePrivacy proposals will make it more difficult to ensure transparency and meaningful user empowerment in practice, and remove any distinction between publishers who place a high value on the trust of their users, and those who do not. While the explanatory memorandum accompanying the ePrivacy proposals does not place an outright ban on publishers communicating with readers in order to seek consent for the use of 3 rd party cookies, in practice, publishers are concerned that it will be incredibly difficult to persuade readers to change their browser settings to allow 3 rd party cookies. As a consequence, individual news organisations would be unable to provide readers with personalised content and marketing, or serve relevant digital advertising within their environments.

          The practice of serving relevant advertising to readers is now an established norm in the advertising industry, and is essential to ensure that publishers can compete with Google and Facebook who already control 20% of total global advertising spend in 2017[3]. If as a result of these proposals, news publishers were unable to serve relevant advertising to our readers, this would reduce our ability to compete with the capabilities of dominant digital platforms for digital advertising revenues, ultimately undermining our ability to invest in high quality journalism across Europe.

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