European Parliament Approves Proposal to Ban Selected Targeted Ads

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to adopt the first draft of a law aimed at limiting Big Tech’s intrusive advertising tactics (via Bloomberg). The draft was approved by the Parliament with 530 votes in favor, 78 votes against, and 80 abstentions.

The Digital Services Act, which was initially presented in 2020, will prohibit platforms like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, which is owned by Meta, from utilizing sensitive information like sexual orientation, race, or religion for targeted advertising. It would force businesses to make it easy for users to opt out of monitoring, and it will put pressure on platforms to remove unlawful content and items, such as hate speech and counterfeit goods, off the internet.

On Twitter, Dutch politician and European Parliament member Paul Tang tweeted, “The European Parliament adopted the Digital Services Act with a big majority.” “This is a major win, with support from all sides.”

The accepted plan also contains two measures that the Parliament agreed on last month: a prohibition on both targeted adverts for children and dark patterns, a technique used by some platforms to deceive users into sharing their data. Companies who violate these regulations might face fines of up to 6% of their global revenue.

As Bloomberg points out, the Digital Services Act still faces challenges; discussions with the European Council begin on January 31st. Last Monday, US Democrats submitted a measure that, if enacted, would prohibit targeted advertising as well.

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