Online advertising, particularly targeted advertising, underpins the internet economy and funds most of the free content and services internet users rely on. However, many users attempt to freeload by using ad-blockers on websites, thereby gaining access to content for free without allowing online businesses to receive compensation from advertising. Many sites have responded to the growing use of ad-blockers by requiring users to disable ad-blockers on their site before they can gain access. Unfortunately, the European Parliament has backed an amendment to the ePrivacy Regulation, a forthcoming privacy law, that would require online services using targeted advertising to offer users “other fair and reasonable options” to access their services without these ads. In effect, this proposal would prohibit online businesses from simply blocking users who use ad-blockers.
MEPs’ e-Privacy Amendment Would Penalize Sites Who Block Ad-Blockers
Nick Wallace is a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He previously worked as a government technology policy analyst at Ovum, a global consultancy based in London. He has a master’s degree in public policy jointly awarded from the Central European University in Budapest and the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals and a bachelor’s degree in politics from Liverpool John Moores University. Wallace speaks English, Spanish, and German.
Daniel Castro is the director of the Center for Data Innovation and vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Mr. Castro writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and internet policy, including data, privacy, security, intellectual property, internet governance, e-government, and accessibility for people with disabilities. His work has been quoted and cited in numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, USA Today, Bloomberg News, and Businessweek. In 2013, Mr. Castro was named to FedScoop’s list of “Top 25 most influential people under 40 in government and tech.” In 2015, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Mr. Castro to the Commerce Data Advisory Council. Mr. Castro previously worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He contributed to GAO reports on the state of information security at a variety of federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition, Mr. Castro was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he developed virtual training simulations to provide clients with hands-on training of the latest information security tools. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.