June 17, 2019

U.S. News Outlets Block European Readers Over New Privacy Rules

Andrea Jelinek, chairwoman of the new European Data Protection Board, which will coordinate enforcement of the new law, criticized the blackout and said that companies had been given a long time to prepare. For weeks, businesses as varied as Uber, bike shops and restaurants have been sending notes to alert people to updated privacy policies as a result of the law, known as G.D.P.R.

“It didn’t just fall from heaven,” Ms. Jelinek said in a statement. “Everyone has had plenty of time to prepare.”

News organizations were not alone in erecting barriers for European users. The American television broadcaster AE Networks cut off the websites of its AE, History and Lifetime channels. The digital advertising company Drawbridge, the social media tracker Klout and the save-it-for-later reading app Instapaper also stepped back.

Europe’s new privacy measures allow people to limit the information they leave behind when browsing social media, reading the news or shopping online. Businesses must detail how someone’s data is being handled, and clear a higher bar to target advertising using personal information.

[Here’s how to parse the flood of G.D.P.R.-related privacy notices in your inbox.]

The law had been seen as focusing on Silicon Valley tech giants like Facebook and Google, but publishers and advertising companies have warned that it will harm their businesses in particular because it restricts how information is packaged and shared to sell advertising. It is common for websites to use tracking software to gather information about visitors in order to better target ads.

Digital advertising is an important source of income for many news organizations, particularly as print readership and advertising fall, but policymakers in Europe argue the practices have become intrusive and ripe for abuse, with personal information shared far beyond what most people realize.

Julia Shullman, the chief privacy counsel for the digital advertising firm AppNexus, said an “unintended consequence” of G.D.P.R. was that Google would become more powerful. To compete with the online search giant, publishers and advertisers have bought, sold and traded data with different sources, a bespoke approach that is now severely restricted under the European Union’s new rules. Many companies will now partner with the bigger company, Ms. Shullman said.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/25/business/media/europe-privacy-gdpr-us.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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