The Daily Mail has hit out at internet privacy proposals in its latest swipe at the EU, claiming they could ‘threaten the entire internet’.
The paper writes that companies such as Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype are going to suffer because of a ‘strict new privacy crackdown from the EU’.
This refers to a draft EU proposal on internet advertising that is part of an overhaul of its ‘ePrivacy’ directive.
Essentially, the main proposal is a fairly minor change that would give internet users more control over their browsing history being tracked.
The proposals would force websites and browsers to ask for users’ consent before targeting them with advertising based on their browser history. Currently, users have to actively opt out of receiving targeted ads by adjusting their settings or installing an ad blocker.
Targeted advertising on the internet is a controversial area, with research showing that it is not popular with the public who are uneasy with having their online behaviour tracked and analysed by large internet companies.
Organisations such as UK charity Privacy International campaign to make sure that legislation is in place to protect the rights of internet users and ensure that any accessing of internet history for marketing purposes is conditional on informed consent.
The EU proposals aim to improve legislation in this way. It’s not clear how this would ‘threaten the entire internet’ as the Daily Mail claims. It will just make internet advertising a little bit more difficult and would mean that huge tax-dodging firms like Google and Facebook would have to pay a fine if they didn’t abide by the new rules.
Obviously the Daily Mail cares more about minor inconveniences to big corporations and advertising firms than internet user privacy.
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