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.
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