CJEU advocate general: Pre-checked cookie boxes do not qualify as valid consent

(Mar 25, 2019) Court of Justice of the European Union Advocate General Maciej Szpunar wrote in a non-binding opinion a website has not gathered valid consent when it requires a user to deselect a pre-checked box, The Register reports. Szpunar’s opinion was in response to a case where an online lottery hosted by Planet49 asked individuals to consent to cookies. The box was filled in, but patrons did not need to agree to cookies in order to participate in the lottery. Szpunar determined it "virtually impossible ... Read More

Google reportedly considering changes to third-party tracking

(Mar 25, 2019) Adweek reports Google is considering changes to its consumer- and advertiser-facing tools that could impact how online media is monetized. The move comes as Apple and Mozilla previously implemented third-party tracking restrictions on their web browsers. According to those familiar with the matter, working groups have been tasked with exploring how advertising will evolve within Chrome and the company’s Google Marketing Platform. It is expected that changes could impact how advertising technolog... Read More

Company aims to launch biometric exchange in return for free movie pass

(Mar 22, 2019) PreShow, a new company from MoviePass, is focused on changing the cost of a movie ticket to a biometric exchange, CNET reports. As a Kickstarter campaign shows, the company is developing an app that would allow moviegoers to earn free passes after watching a 15- to 20-minute advertisement. Relying on a phone’s existing facial-recognition technology, the app would verify the user watched the ad attentively. The company has said it will not share personally identifiable information with third part... Read More

Google to promote choice of browser, search engine for Android users

(Mar 21, 2019) After a fine from EU competition authorities earlier this week, Google plans to allow European Android users to select an alternative web browser and search engine for their phones, Telecompaper reports. Google was previously pairing its search app and Chrome browser with the Android system, which was considered an abuse of the company's dominant position in the search market. Other browsers and search engines were already available to Android users, but Google said its new policy "demonstrate[s... Read More

Increased retail use of facial recognition alarms privacy advocates

(Mar 21, 2019) As the use of facial recognition rises in retail stores, privacy advocates fear there will be many challenges with regulating systems as they evolve, CNET reports. Recognition software is a useful security tool, but it teeters on a violation of personal privacy with instances of overreach and limited legal restriction. CNET learned that two facial-recognition providers don't monitor their customers' system use, and no laws require them to do so. "So far, we haven't been able to convince our legi... Read More

EU authorities fine Google $1.7B for online ad antitrust violations

(Mar 20, 2019) European authorities fined Google $1.7 billion for antitrust violations, The New York Times reports. Google required any website to feature ads from the tech company’s advertising services over those from its competitors as a condition for using its search bar. Google said it stopped the practice as of 2016. “Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This ... Read More

Facebook takes measures to combat discriminatory ads

(Mar 20, 2019) Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced the platform has revamped the ways it manages housing, employment and credit ads in order to combat discrimination. The changes stemmed from a settlement Facebook reached with the National Fair Housing Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union and others. Facebook will no longer allow parties that wish to run these types of ads to target individuals by age, gender or ZIP code, while it has also limited the target categories those companie... Read More

Op-ed: Marketers should focus on state privacy laws over a federal rule

(Mar 19, 2019) In an op-ed for Adweek, Apt Marketing Solutions CEO Curtis Thornhill writes marketers in the U.S. should pay more attention to privacy bills at the state level rather than a federal rule. Thornhill cites the California Consumer Privacy Act as the most important rule for marketers to familiarize themselves with, as it will likely be "the template for others that follow at all levels of government." The author advises marketers to learn more about data brokers and notes the IAPP is a good resource... Read More

Study: EU governments allow ad companies to track citizens on public sector sites

(Mar 18, 2019) A study conducted by browser-analysis company Cookiebot found EU governments have allowed more than 100 advertising companies to track citizens across public sector websites, the Financial Times reports. Cookiebot found Facebook, Google and YouTube trackers on the official government websites of 25 EU member states and on websites for EU public health services. The study revealed the French government had 52 different companies tracking users’ behaviors, the most in the EU. European Digital Righ... Read More

Apple launches ad campaign highlighting privacy commitment

(Mar 15, 2019) Apple launched a new ad campaign that seeks to highlight the company’s commitment to handling user privacy, The Hill reports. The new ad is indicative of Apple's move to separate itself from other tech behemoths, using privacy as a competitive differentiator. Its on-screen text says, “If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on.” The campaign comes as the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, continues to call for a U.S. federal privacy law that would give users more contro... Read More