Brussels eyes online ad restrictions for political parties

Good morning. Welcome to Europe Express today. Immediately after the EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New York, the impact of the deal with Aukus continues to spread. France is still very clear that it feels betrayed by the United States. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian basically equates Joe Biden’s president with Donald Trump. “We thought the era of unilateralism was over,” Le Dorian said at a press conference.

The EU’s Commissioner for Domestic Markets, Thierry Breton, told the Financial Times that Europe “feels something is broken in a cross-Atlantic relationship.”

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

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

Will also contact you PolandAfter the government vowed to pay the Commission zero cents, the Supreme Court of Brock ordered Warsaw to pay € 500,000 a day for failing to implement the ruling.

And as the countdown clock to the German elections on Sunday is ticking, our Chart du Jules will look at plans for the country to return. Fiscal discipline, Compared to other countries.

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Transparent targeting

We have all experienced online advertising that pushes products, services, or political campaigns based on what we search 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 the rules of political parties trying to deploy this tool. Javier Espinosa In Brussels.

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

This practice of online advertising, called microtargeting, was highlighted in the 2016 Brexit referendum and US presidential elections, especially in Cambridge Analytica. scandal — And EU regulators are concerned that targeted disinformation could lead to similar consequences of distorting voting results.

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

Vice-President of the European Commission, Bella Jouroba, asks tech companies to explain disinformation and election integrity, argues: Dirty tricks, It 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 draft seen by Europe Express revealed that the Commission is trying to submit proposals for micro-targeting hard 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 treatise reads.

This applies to European parties such as the centre-right European People’s Party and centre-left S & D, but not to domestic parties such as the CDU and SPD. Nevertheless, the Commission states that it recommends that Member States adopt the same standards.

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

The new rules will also force ad publishers to flag their practices “on the surface of the ad.” You need to let users know who the agency 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 scope of regulation, including political parties, shows that Brussels still has concerns due to the Cambridge Analytica episode.

The scandal “has misunderstood citizens using online social networks and downplayed interference with elections that manipulate debate and voter choices,” the newspaper said.

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

For now, the EU predicts that Member States are primarily responsible, and there is also oversight from the Commission. The EU also wants to rely on its citizens to “flag ads that are particularly problematic for review by competent authorities.” Regulators are also considering “convincing and effective sanctions,” but the report is not sufficient to outline what these will be.

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

Chart du jour: German discipline

Line chart of general government budget balance (% of GDP) showing that Germany's plan returns to fiscal discipline

With Sunday’s general election imminent, economists will see if they expect a return to strict fiscal discipline under the next German government, and what the consequences will be in discussions about resetting EU fiscal rules. I’m trying to understand. (read more here)

Polish standoffs

The EU Supreme Court wrote that it fined Poland 500,000 euros a day after refusing to comply with a shutdown order at 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 while waiting for a final decision on the future of the site, which is subject to a protracted environmental conflict with the neighboring Czech Republic.

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

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

The penalties imposed by the ECJ will also consider requesting the Commission to impose a fine on Poland. Refusal to obey Individual rulings related to the controversial judicial review elicited a ferocious reaction from politicians from the country’s conservative nationalist ruling camp.

“This is not even blackmail. It is a daytime judicial robbery and theft,” said Marcin Romanowski, Deputy Minister of Justice of Poland. I have written On Twitter. “You don’t get a penny.”

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

However, Czech Foreign Minister Yakub Kurhanek welcomed the court’s decision. “We are ready to take further action, but the main goal remains. On the Czech side, access to drinking water should not be compromised,” he said.

What to see today

  1. World leaders speak at the UN General Assembly

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

Notable, quoteable

  • Receiving energy charges: Soaring gas and electricity costs Forcing Amid growing concerns about the deepening winter energy crisis, the European government will discuss billions of euros in aid to homes and affected suppliers.

  • Last-minute grill: German Treasury Minister Olaf Scholz, the successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Baked Yesterday at a parliamentary committee over fraud in the country’s money laundering prevention agency. The case may cost him valuable support in Sunday’s elections.

  • Aukus fan: Concerned about China’s growing warlikeness, many Indo-Pacific countries are looking to the United States instead of France to balance China’s power. write in Gideon Rachman. Britain’s previous conflicting stance on Beijing has also been welcomed in Washington, balancing damage and Paris.

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