EU Commission takes action to phase out cookies in online advertising

The European Commission is taking steps to phase out cookies in online advertising. Initial pledges include upfront disclosure of website business models and tracking methods, as well as offering users alternative advertising models that don’t rely on tracking.

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The European Commission has introduced a voluntary initiative aimed at reducing reliance on cookies in the online advertising industry. The initiative, led by the EU consumer protection chief Didier Reynders, involves advertisers, online publishers, and stakeholders in the advertising technology sector. Its objective is to phase out the use of cookies and explore alternative methods for obtaining user consent for online advertising while promoting transparency in the industry. The initiative kicked off with a stakeholder roundtable in April, which focused on three key areas: providing information to consumers, finding alternatives to tracking-based advertising, and developing user-controlled solutions for personalized ads.

The initial commitments consist of certain platform requirements to inform users about the website’s business model and the tracking methods employed. The Commission also encourages stakeholders to offer consumers choices regarding advertising models that do not rely on trackings, such as contextual advertising and personalized ads that don’t involve tracking. Furthermore, stakeholders are urged to develop automated solutions that honor users’ predetermined preferences and allow for detailed customization.