Facebook and adtech face a turbulent time in Europe’s courts: the Brussels case.

This note examines a Belgian court ruling against Facebook's tracking and approach to consent. Facebook and adtech companies should expect tough sanctions when they find themselves before European courts - unless they change their current approach to data protection and the GDPR.  Facebook is playing a dangerous game of “chicken” with the regulators. First, it has begun to confront users in … Continue reading Facebook and adtech face a turbulent time in Europe’s courts: the Brussels case.

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Risks in IAB Europe’s proposed consent mechanism

This note examines the recently published IAB “transparency and consent” proposal. Major flaws render the system unworkable. The real issue is what should be done with the vast majority of the audience who will not give consent.  Publishers would have no control (and are expected to blindly trust 2,000+ adtech companies) The adtech companies[1] who drafted … Continue reading Risks in IAB Europe’s proposed consent mechanism

PageFair writes to all EU Member States about the ePrivacy Regulation

This week PageFair wrote to the permanent representatives of all Member States of the European Union in support for the proposed ePrivacy Regulation. Our remarks were tightly bounded by our expertise in online advertising technology. We do not have an opinion on how the proposed Regulation will impact other areas. The letter addresses four issues: … Continue reading PageFair writes to all EU Member States about the ePrivacy Regulation

Adtech must change to protect publishers under the GDPR (IAPP podcast)

The follow up to the International Association of Privacy Professionals' most listened to podcast of 2017.  Angelique Carson of the International Association of Privacy Professionals quizzes PageFair's Dr Johnny Ryan on the crisis facing publishers, as they grapple with adtech vendors and attendant risks ahead of the GDPR. The podcast covers: Why personal data can not be used without … Continue reading Adtech must change to protect publishers under the GDPR (IAPP podcast)

PageFair’s long letter to the Article 29 Working Party

This note discusses a letter that PageFair submitted to the Article 29 Working Party. The answers may shape the future of the adtech industry.  Eventually the data protection authorities of Europe will gain a thorough understanding of the adtech industry, and enforce data protection upon it. This will change how the industry works. Until then, we are in … Continue reading PageFair’s long letter to the Article 29 Working Party

GDPR’s non-tracking cookie banners

This note outlines how an anomaly in European law will impact cookie storage and presents wireframes of permission requests for non-tracking cookies.  Online media will soon find itself in an anomalous position. It will be necessary to apply the GDPR’s consent requirements to cookies that reveal no personal data, even though the GDPR was not … Continue reading GDPR’s non-tracking cookie banners

GDPR consent design: how granular must adtech opt-ins be?

This note examines the range of distinct adtech data processing purposes that will require opt-in under the GDPR.[1] In late 2017 the Article 29 Working Party cautioned that “data subjects should be free to choose which purpose they accept, rather than having to consent to a bundle of processing purposes”.[2] Consent requests for multiple purposes … Continue reading GDPR consent design: how granular must adtech opt-ins be?

Can websites use “tracking walls” to force consent under GDPR?

This note examines whether websites can use "tracking walls" under the GDPR, and challenges the recent guidance on this issue from IAB Europe.  This week, IAB Europe published a paper that advises website owners that tracking walls (i.e., modal dialogs that require people to give consent to be tracked in order to access a website) will be … Continue reading Can websites use “tracking walls” to force consent under GDPR?

Adtech consent is meaningless unless one stops data leakage

Websites and advertisers can not prevent personal data from leaking in programmatic advertising. If not fixed, this will render consent to use personal data meaningless.  The GDPR applies the principle of transparency:[1] People must be able to easily learn who has their personal data, and what they are doing with it. Equally importantly, people must have surety … Continue reading Adtech consent is meaningless unless one stops data leakage

Research result: what percentage will consent to tracking for advertising?

This note presents the results of a survey of 300+ publishers, adtech, brands, and various others, on whether users will consent to tracking under the GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation.  In early August we published a note on consent, and asked whether people would click "yes". We would like to thank the 300+ colleagues who … Continue reading Research result: what percentage will consent to tracking for advertising?

How the GDPR will disrupt Google and Facebook

Google and Facebook will be disrupted by the new European data protection rules that are due to apply in May 2018. This note explains how.  Google and Facebook will be unable to use the personal data they hold for advertising purposes without user permission. This is an acute challenge because, contrary to what some commentators have assumed, they cannot use a “service-wide” opt-in for … Continue reading How the GDPR will disrupt Google and Facebook

The Privacy Case for Non-Tracking Cookies: PageFair writes to the European Parliament

In the last month, we have written to the MEPs leading the Parliament's work on the ePrivacy Regulation (the "rapporteurs") to propose an amendment. Here is a copy of the letter. PageFair supports the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, in so far as it will change online behavioural advertising. This is an unusual position for an ad tech company, … Continue reading The Privacy Case for Non-Tracking Cookies: PageFair writes to the European Parliament

Here is what GDPR consent dialogues could look like. Will people click yes?

THIS NOTE HAS NOW BEEN SUPERSEDED BY A A MORE RECENT PAGEFAIR INSIDER NOTE ON GDPR CONSENT DIALOGUES. PLEASE REFER TO THE NEW NOTE.  This note presents sketches of GDPR consent dialogues, and invites readers to participate in research on whether people will consent.  [x_alert heading="Note" type="info"]It is important to note that the dialogue presented … Continue reading Here is what GDPR consent dialogues could look like. Will people click yes?

The 3 biggest challenges in GDPR for online media & advertising

This note explains the three deepest challenges that the online advertising industry must overcome to survive the new European data rules. It also outlines our approach.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) pose particular challenges for publishers, brands, and adtech companies. These go beyond the normal gap analysis and security overhaul that other businesses … Continue reading The 3 biggest challenges in GDPR for online media & advertising

Risks to brands under new EU regulations

Brands face serious new risks under the GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR), and agencies will not be able to shield them. This note explains why, and describes what these risks are.  When the GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) apply a year from now brands that use personal data in their marketing campaigns will become exposed … Continue reading Risks to brands under new EU regulations

PageFair statement at European Parliament rapporteur’s ePrivacy Regulation roundtable

Lightly edited transcription of PageFair remarks at rapporteur's sessions at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29 May 2017, concerning the ePrivacy Regulation.  Statement at roundtable on Articles 9, and 10.  Dr Johnny Ryan: Thank you. PageFair is a European adtech company. We are very much in support of the Regulation as proposed, in so far … Continue reading PageFair statement at European Parliament rapporteur’s ePrivacy Regulation roundtable

Why pseudonymization is not the silver bullet for GDPR.

Pseudonymization will not save online advertising companies from having to seek consent to use browsing and other personal data. This note explains why. Personal data will become toxic in May 2018 when the General Data Protection Regulation is applied, unless data subjects have given consent.[1] Some businesses may try to rely on “pseudonymization”, a partial … Continue reading Why pseudonymization is not the silver bullet for GDPR.

PageFair statement at European Parliament ALDE shadow rapporteurs session on the proposed ePrivacy Regulation

Lightly edited transcription of PageFair remarks at European Parliament ALDE session on 4 May 2017.  Dr Johnny Ryan: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be with you this afternoon. I’ve been on both sides: the adtech side, and the publisher’s side, of the particular part of this story that I want to talk about. Several … Continue reading PageFair statement at European Parliament ALDE shadow rapporteurs session on the proposed ePrivacy Regulation

Obit: Aaron Swartz

I wrote this obituary for The Irish Times last week. Aaron Swartz, Born: November 8th, 1986 Died: January 11th, 2013 Aaron Swartz took his own life in an apartment in Brooklyn on January 11th. Though only 26 when he died, Swartz had many claims to fame. At the age of 14, he had co-authored specification 1.0 … Continue reading Obit: Aaron Swartz

Interview on the history + future of the Net

Jerry Brito, a tech thinker and writer for Time Magazine interviewed me about my recent book, A history of the Internet and the digital future as part of his 'Surprisingly Free' podcast series with techies. Jerry has an interesting background: he's an academic, but he has also lead some interesting projects - see below - … Continue reading Interview on the history + future of the Net

Principles, Norms, and Constraints: building a new national approach to digital issues

Discussion document for the new IIEA National Digital Principles Group: We are present at a unique moment in time when the shape and character of the emerging digital area is becoming clear. To grasp the opportunity, consider as historical precedents the decades following Gutenberg’s Press, or early decades of the Industrial Age. Strategic and inventive … Continue reading Principles, Norms, and Constraints: building a new national approach to digital issues

My talk at Google EU HQ on fairuse

I spoke at Google last Friday (19 November 2010) on fairuse and the need for the law to adapt to leverage the benefits of the Internet. The event was chaired by TJ McIntyre of Digital Rights Ireland.

The past 2 years of digital speakers at the IIEA

It's time to take stock. Here's an idea of what we've been up to since 2008 at the Digital Future Group of the IIEA. In reverse chronological order... Videos of some of the on-the-record pieces of these events are available at http://www.iiea.com/digital Federico Etro, Professor at the University of Milan, speaking on "econometric proof of … Continue reading The past 2 years of digital speakers at the IIEA

Three strikes, copyright and copytight?

Together with a colleague at the IIEA, Caitriona Heinl, I have been examining the current state of three strikes measures against music piracy (see earlier related blog entry). This comes as part of an IIEA study. This document presents an overview of “three strikes” measures, what they seek to achieve, the mechanisms by which they … Continue reading Three strikes, copyright and copytight?

Google vs China: capitalist model, virtual wall (new OpenDemocracy article)

Article in OpenDemocracy, co-authored by Johnny Ryan and Stefan Halper, 22 January 2010: A speech on the theme of internet freedom around the world delivered by Hillary Clinton on 21 January 2010 contained a striking phrase. The United States secretary of state, speaking at Washington’s journalism-focused Newseum, argued that nation-states that chose to limit free … Continue reading Google vs China: capitalist model, virtual wall (new OpenDemocracy article)

Violent radical content on the Internet – first outputs of IIEA study

As part of the IIEA study on non-legislative measures to prevent the dissemination of violent radical material on the Internet for the European Commission, the following outputs were released in December 2009: Request For Comments document: An initial overview of the legal environment regulating child abuse, hatred and racism, copyright infringement, and terrorist content on … Continue reading Violent radical content on the Internet – first outputs of IIEA study

Measures to prevent the spread of violent material on the Net across the EU?

The IIEA and the European Commission have just signed a contract to begin a study on non-legislative measures that might prevent the spread of violent radical content on the Internet. Our job is to examine the measures currently in practice, determine whether any are appropriate and functional, and whether these would work if applied across … Continue reading Measures to prevent the spread of violent material on the Net across the EU?

ICANN becomes Independent!

Yesterday's announcement from ICANN ends a lingering point of controversy surrounding the governance of the Internet: the United States’ continued control of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). ICANN's announcement of 30 September 2009 ends that controversy. A relevant snippet from the forthcoming book gives the background to ICANN, the controversy, and the importance of … Continue reading ICANN becomes Independent!

IIEA needs an intern (Digital Future)

WE WANT YOU TO JOIN OUR TEAM http://www.iiea.com/job-opportunities Job spec: RESEARCH intern on The Digital Future Payment: unpaid - opportunity to compete for paid position may arise Opportunity: Interns may (subject to performance and to funding conditions within the Institute) have the opportunity to progress to junior researcher status within the Institute and may have … Continue reading IIEA needs an intern (Digital Future)

Quick note on ‘Openness’

The word 'Openness' is attractive as the keystone of the book's title. And yet it is controversial. It may even be inaccurate. The 'Open' word as I am using it first came to me when I read interviews with Paul Baran in which he talked about two startling things: first, how RAND published his secret research because they believed … Continue reading Quick note on ‘Openness’

Interview with Tim Wu

Tim Wu was speaking at the IIEA in Dublin on 25 May. I had a talk with him on the record about Theodore Vail, AT&T Bell, net neutrality, Internet regulation, Google and "the temptation of Goolge", norms on the Internet, and the future of mobile networks.

Models of state research spending: Vannevar Bush v Mike Mansfield

A new statement from Ireland's Science Advisory Counsel calls for an exploration of how "Ireland can maximise the revenue potential of its investment in STI". The Irish Science Advisory Counsel is composed of senior figures in industry and research including Sean Baker of IONA and Roger Whatmore of the Tyndall Institute. The question coming to … Continue reading Models of state research spending: Vannevar Bush v Mike Mansfield

Maths – East & West

I have been thinking about the following problem recently: Maths. In 2001, the bipartisan Hart-Rudman Commission warned that the failure of math and science education posed a greater threat to American power than any conceivable conventional war in the new century. In his 2005 book, and in later postings on his site, the conservative US … Continue reading Maths – East & West

The Irish Times on The Next Leap

The Irish Times calls The Next Leap "an excellent report ... [which] deserves to be read and considered, especially right now, as the Government struggles to find a constructive way forward out of an economic morass". When the IIEA released my report, The Next Leap: Competitive Ireland in the Digital Era, in mid December, it … Continue reading The Irish Times on The Next Leap

Next Leap Report comment-on-able at http://nextleap.wordpress.com

The report is now available for comment - at http://nextleap.wordpress.com Photos and video of the launch will be posted soon... or download PDF version [cover front / back]

The Next Leap: Competitive Ireland in the Digital Era

Video from the launch event Tanaiste's (deputy prime minister) launch statement my presentation chair person's introduction   The Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan, will launch my report on Tuesday, 16 December 2008, at 7.00 PM at the IIEA. Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, will … Continue reading The Next Leap: Competitive Ireland in the Digital Era

Coverage of ‘The Next Leap’

Coverage of The Next Leap in Silicon Republic. The editor, John Kennedy, wrote this positive endorsement of the report at http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/article/11959/business/urgent-call-for-digital-industry-task-force Urgent call for digital industry task force 15.12.2008 Forty-five years after Time Magazine had a cover story on a visionary Irish minister called Sean Lemass and a new ‘can do’ spirit sweeping the nation, … Continue reading Coverage of ‘The Next Leap’

My interview with Ann Cavoukian for the EBF

Ann Cavoukian is the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, and was the leading figure referenced last week by Peter Fleischer, Google's Chief Privacy Counsel, who was speaking at the IIEA Digital Future Group that I run . I interviewed her over skype on 6 June 2008 for the EBF. The subject of our conversation … Continue reading My interview with Ann Cavoukian for the EBF

Updated strategic questions for the Digital Competitiveness Report

See http://www.iiea.com/digital/ What are the current policy (or other) opportunities & challenges that Ireland faces in the digital sector? Which emerging trends are potentially dominant in the digital sector? In which niches can Ireland become a world leader? What is the most important strategic investment of relevance to the digital sector that Ireland could make … Continue reading Updated strategic questions for the Digital Competitiveness Report