With the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) 2011, more commonly referred to as the EU e-Privacy Directive, set to be enforced on 26th May this year I’ve definitely noticed a lot of noise around the subject recently.
Just yesterday, eConsultancy published the results of a survey they sent out to over 700 marketers on the matter. Unsurprisingly the results show that the vast majority of marketers (82%) feel that the law is bad for the web. Indeed there have been gasps of horror from marketers ever since the Directive was first mentioned, and despite being given a year to implement the regulations only 64% of marketers have even read the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who is responsible for enforcing these Directives.
Due to the nature of our business and understanding the daunting prospect ahead the IAB affiliate marketing council, a group of over 100 industry experts (affilinet included), and its legislation subcommittee have taken first steps towards offering practical guidance on this matter. Last week they published the ‘Affiliate Marketing Consumer Transparency Framework’ offering publishers advice on compliance with the revised regulations. The intension is to “contribute to a consistent approach towards transparency and compliance with the new law”. The Framework is specifically aimed at publishers/ affiliates and it acknowledges the challenging technical hurdles they face, notably around third party cookie usage. It is hoped that this promoting a unified approach on the matter will provide guidance to those with limited resource and expertise, and ultimately aid consumer understanding on the matter.
Although we believe that in time industry solutions and web browser capabilities will be developed to offer a more practical approach, the IAB guidance works within current framework towards the ICO’s approach of “informed choices”. We urge all parties to read it in detail, spread the word and keep an eye out for the regular updates at www.iabuk.net/amcconsumertransparencyframework.
However, in among this hullabaloo, one very important group has been forgotten. The eConsultancy research alarmingly pointed out that 93% of marketers don’t think that consumers will know what cookies are. As we hurtle towards the 25 May deadline, there is a key piece still missing from the puzzle – consumer education – and if the Directive is to be integrated in a manner which is beneficial to all, it’s not just the industry that needs some clarification, it’s consumers too.
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