Monday

15th Apr 2024

MEPs push for explicit consent for online political ads

  • MEPs also proposed to ban non-EU based actors from being able to pay for political advertisements in the EU (Photo: Steinar Engeland)
Listen to article

MEPs adopted a draft report on Tuesday (24 January) on potential new rules for political advertisements that lawmakers hope will come into force for the 2024 European elections.

The vote in the internal market committee follows the EU Commission's 2021 proposal to make online political advertising more transparent.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The plenary will vote on the matter next month and MEP Sandro Gozi from the liberal Renew Europe group hopes to start negotiations with member states as soon as possible.

"We must do everything we can to be ready with this new system for the next European elections," Gozi said after the committee vote. He said the aim is to build a single market for political advertising.

MEPs want to make sure that only personal data explicitly provided for online political ads can be used by ad providers.

This could effectively ban micro-targeting which uses consumer data and demographics to identify targets.

However, that ambition has already been criticised by EU commissioner for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, who has been worried that it might impact the commercial use of the technique.

"This report will make abusive online political advertising a thing of the past by making it impossible to prey on people's specific weaknesses," Gozi added.

MEPs also want to ban the use of minors' data.

An online repository containing all online political advertisements and related data should also be created, according to the draft legislation.

MEPs also want information to be made easily available to citizens, authorities, researchers, electoral observers, and journalists.

It would also make it easier to find out who is financing an ad, how much was paid for it, where the money came from, on who were targeted by the ad using what data, and levels of engagement.

MEPs also proposed to ban non-EU based actors from being able to pay for political advertisements in the EU.

Member states would be able to fine platforms for repeated violations of the regulation.

In serious or systemic cases, the European Data Protection Board would have the power to order large online platforms to suspend the delivery of ads for up to 15 days.

"Once in force, we hope by 2023, elections in the EU will be more transparent and resistant to manipulation as witnessed in the Cambridge Analytica scandal," Gozi said, referring to the company that collected millions of Facebook users' data without their consent and used it for political advertising.

EU to open up 'black box' of political ads

Paid political ads will have to show how much was spent on the ad, the sources of funds, the name of the sponsor. "Without providing this information, political advertisement will be illegal," commission vice-president Věra Jourová said.

Opinion

EU political ads rules could be 'hotbed for retaliatory flagging'

Everything could be seen as a 'political ad' — even well-known voices championing important issues, such as Greta Thunberg, could find themselves subject to European regulations for every tweet, Facebook post, or snap they share.

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following four-way talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April).

Opinion

Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation

As Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos just reclaimed the title of the richest person on Earth, its workers cannot even take a bathroom break under the pressure of meeting inhumane performance targets.

Opinion

The Bolsonaro-Orbán far-right nexus

Defeated far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has given various reasons for sheltering at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia — none of them make sense.

Latest News

  1. EU leaders condemn Iran, urge Israeli restraint
  2. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  3. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  4. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  5. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  6. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  7. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  8. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us