Brussels considers online advertising restrictions for political parties


Hello. Welcome to Europe Express today. Immediately after the meeting of EU foreign ministers in New York, the impact of the agreement with Aukus continues to spread. France is still very clear that it feels betrayed by the United States. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian essentially equates Joe Biden’s president with Donald Trump. “We thought the era of unilateralism was over,” Le Dorian told a press conference.

European Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton, told the Financial Times that Europe “feels that something is broken in a transatlantic relationship”.

Breton comment France came to Brussels after trying to postpone the high-level meeting of the US-UK Business Technology Council scheduled for this month in Pittsburgh, angry at the Biden administration’s handling of underwater transactions between the Australia and the United Kingdom.

Today’s main story describes the regulatory procedures that the European Commission is considering for ways to limit its use. Online advertising In the case of political parties, if they rely on user data collected by tracking their behavior on social media platforms, they often ignore it.

Will also contact you PolandAfter the government pledged to pay zero cents to the Commission, Brock’s Supreme Court ordered Warsaw to pay € 500,000 per day for failing to implement the decision.

And as the countdown to Sunday’s German elections draws near, our Jules Chart will examine plans for the country’s return. Budget discipline, Compared to other countries.

This article is an on-site version of the Europe Express Newsletter. register here Send the newsletter directly to your inbox on weekday mornings

Transparent targeting

We have all known online advertising that offers products, services, or political campaigns based on what we are looking for on the internet, or based on chat or email conversations.

There are some restrictions on online platforms and behavioral advertising, but the EU writes that it is considering rules for political parties trying to deploy this tool. Javier Espinosa In Brussels.

For example, if you are a nurse in Berlin, a particular political party might attack you with an ad that promises to raise your healthcare professional’s salary. The same party sends different messages to social media feeds, depending on the person’s age, gender, ethnicity, or professional status.

This online advertising practice, called microtargeting, was highlighted during the 2016 Brexit referendum and the US presidential elections, most notably at Cambridge Analytica. scandal – And EU regulators fear that targeted disinformation could lead to similar consequences by distorting voting results.

For example, the campaign of former US President Donald Trump Disproportionately Targeted African American Voters To discourage them from voting, academics and advocates micro-targeted Threat to democracy..

European Commission Vice-President Bella Jouroba calls on tech companies to explain disinformation and electoral integrity, argues: Dirty tricks, This influenced the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum, including the lack of transparency associated with microtargeting.

Brussels has a voluntary code of conduct, signed by all major platforms, including Facebook and Google, and promises to shed light on online profiling and micro-targeting.

However, the project seen by Europe Express revealed that the Commission is trying to submit proposals for strict micro-targeting rules not only to the platform itself, but also to advertising agencies and political parties.

“A common standard is established to limit the use of certain micro-targeting techniques… for political actors,” the treaty reads.

This applies to European parties such as the center-right European People’s Party and the center-left S&D, but not to national parties such as the CDU and the SPD. However, the Commission says it recommends Member States to adopt the same standards.

Bella Yorober has accused dirty tricks, including the lack of transparency linked to microtargeting, for influencing the outcome of the Brexit referendum © REUTERS

The new rules will also require ad publishers to report their practices “on the ad surface”. You need to let users know who the agency is involved in creating your ad and how they used your personal data. A link is required for an independent assessment of compliance with the rule.

EU regulators have already proposed stricter rules for micro-targeting and political advertising on online platforms. This new extension of its field of regulation, including political parties, shows that Brussels still has concerns because of the Cambridge Analytica episode.

The scandal “misunderstood citizens using online social networks and minimized interference with elections which manipulate debate and voters’ choices,” the newspaper said.

Even with the success of this new regulatory effort, the question remains as to who is likely to apply the new transparency rules.

For now, the EU predicts that Member States are primarily responsible, and there is also Commission oversight. The EU also wants to count on its citizens to “flag particularly problematic advertisements for examination by the competent authorities”. Regulators are also considering “compelling and effective sanctions,” but the report is not sufficient to describe what they will be.

As with all EU laws, this has to go through a multi-year process before actually entering into force. According to the EU, its goal is to enact strong legislation by the next European Parliament elections in 2024.

Charter of the day: German discipline

With Sunday’s general election looming, economists will see whether they expect a return to strict fiscal discipline under the next German government, and what the implications will be in discussions on resetting the country’s fiscal rules. EU. I try to understand. (Read more here)

Polish dead ends

The EU Supreme Court wrote that it fined Poland 500,000 euros per day after refusing to comply with an order to close a mine near the Czech border. James shotter In Warsaw.

The ECJ initially ordered Poland to stop lignite mining at the Turow mine in May pending a final decision on the future of the site, which is the subject of a protracted environmental dispute with the Czech Republic neighbor.

However, Poland said the mine is important for its coal-based energy system and refused to comply. This has led the Czech Republic to return to justice to demand that Warsaw be ordered to pay a fine of € 5 million to the EU budget.

The CJEU ultimately set a much lower number, but said the fines imposed daily until Warsaw complied with previous ECJ orders were “necessary to deter”. [Poland] Because it delays the alignment of this action. “

The sanctions imposed by the ECJ will also consider asking the Commission to impose a fine on Poland. Refusal to obey Individual decisions related to the controversial judicial review have sparked a fierce backlash from politicians in the country’s conservative nationalist camp.

“It’s not even blackmail. This is a judicial theft and a day theft, ”said Marcin Romanowski, Deputy Minister of Justice of Poland. I wrote On Twitter. “You don’t get a dime.”

The Polish government subsequently did not shut down the mine and said the fines imposed by the ECJ were disproportionate and unjustified.

However, Czech Foreign Minister Yakub Kurhanek welcomed the court ruling. “We are ready to take further action, but the primary focus remains. On the Czech side, access to drinking water must not be compromised, ”he said.

What to see today

  1. World leaders speak at the United Nations General Assembly

  2. EU Secretary of State meets in Brussels to prepare for the next Council of the European Union and discuss Brexit

Notable, quotable

  • Reception of energy charges: Soaring gas and electricity prices Force Amid growing concerns about the worsening winter energy crisis, the European government will discuss billions of euros in aid to affected households and suppliers.

  • Last minute grills: German Treasury Minister Olaf Scholz, successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Cooked Yesterday, during a parliamentary committee on fraud at the national agency for the prevention of money laundering. The case could cost him valuable support in Sunday’s election.

  • Aukus fan: Concerned about China’s growing war, many Indo-Pacific countries are looking to the United States rather than France to balance China’s power. to register Gideon Rachman. Britain’s previous confrontational stance on Beijing has also been praised in Washington, balancing the damage and Paris.

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