Article 29 WP States Online Opt-Out Not Compliant with EU Law


. . . the [Article 29 Working Party] reiterated its belief that the opt-out approach violated European privacy law, which requires consent before personal data can be used.

A consumer’s failure to opt out of behavioral ads, the panel said in its statement, is not a form of implicit consent, which is the position held by the industry.

Viviane Redding states that the directive will require some kind of prior consent for opting into online tracking. The revision to the Directive should be completed at the beginning of next year.

Industry states this will dramatically hurt online advertising with a knock-on effect to websites as they will lose revenue. User experience will also be significantly impacted.

I agree that revenue will be impacted, but I’m not sure that this will result in long-term decreased revenue. Industry will find a workaround. Users will be incentivized to opt-in. It is possible that some established sites will create a pay-wall. Ultimately, this will result in more choice for consumers. Perhaps industry can create a centralized opt-in site where consumers can receive a universal free login in exchange for some incentive. Everyone likes a free lunch.

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