15th January 2017

Publishers can legally track ad-blocking users


 

Publishers will be allowed to withhold access to those using ad-blocking software.


Under a new EU law, online publishers will be able to legally withhold access to their content to browsers who are using ad-blocking software.

The EU's law-making body stated: "The proposal allows website providers to check if the end-user's device is able to receive their content, including advertisement, without obtaining the end-user's consent.

"If a website provider notes that not all content can be received by the end-user, it is up to the website provider to respond appropriately, for example by asking end-users if they use an ad-blocker and would be willing to switch it off for the respective website."

Users will still need to agree to a website using cookies or other technologies to access the required information.

Brian Kane, co-founder and chief operating officer at Sourcepoint (an anti-adblocker tech company), said: "The traditional value exchange of viewing ads in return for ‘free’ content has long been implicit and we must move to a user-centric approach where multiple choices are offered in a transparent manner – whether this be a tailored, ad-light experience, or a subscription-based model.

"To achieve this, publishers need the opportunity to detect when users are running ad block software and engage them in an open, direct conversation that makes the user aware of the need for content compensation and allows them to make their own choice about how they wish to support media."

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