The EU has its finger on the Internet privacy button

The EU has its finger on the Internet privacy button, which threatens to turn out the lights on European web publishers
by Jarvis Coffin
CEO & President, Burst Media
November 9, 2009

…the EU is taking legal action against the UK in order to compel it to impose tougher privacy standards. In the meantime, the EU is advancing legislation through its parliament that amounts to an opt-in requirement for all tracking cookies, which are the things that make the world go around for advertisers and publishers online. If the EU succeeds with that legislation the world will end at the English Channel and European web publishers will find it hard to attract the advertising that is important to sustaining their web sites.

That should be a matter of some concern to the EU parliament. Are not the voices of probably hundreds of thousands of European web publishers meaningful to the debate? Not all of those publishers – perhaps very few of them – are in it to make beaucoup amounts of money. But the money doesn’t hurt when there are provider bills to pay, and family objections to overcome that result from many hours at the computer composing thoughtful web sites and blogs. An evening or two out for dinner, a new automobile, a school tuition paid, always help to quell dissent among an artist’s inner circle of dependents and care-givers.

Never mind the taxes and the votes that go missing when commerce is affected. We recognize this is the EU we’re talking about and that taxes and votes might not be the drivers they are in the rest of the Western world. Still, there is the matter of the artistic freedom and the ability of a huge segment of the Internet’s publishing fabric to survive that should be considered. What will happen to all those voices? How will Europe be represented in a post-apocalyptic, post-cookie world of its own making?…

The complete article is at

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