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The European Parliament approved a bill to ban the use of personal information to display targeted online advertising

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The Digital Services Act will prevent platforms from using sensitive information to serve targeted ads. Any company that breaks these rules can be fined up to 6% of its global revenue.

On January 20, 2022, the European Parliament voted to approve an initial draft of a bill aimed at limiting Big Tech’s invasive advertising practices. The project was adopted with 530 votes in favor; 78 voters were against and 80 were absent.

The Digital Services Act, which was first passed in 2020, will prevent platforms like Google, Amazon, and Facebook from using users’ personal information to deliver targeted ads. Services will be required to make it easy for users to opt out of being tracked, and platforms will be required to remove illegal content and products online that may incite hate or promote counterfeit goods.

The approved proposal also includes two rules that Parliament agreed last month: a ban on both targeted advertising to minors and “dark templates,” a practice some platforms use to trick users into agreeing to share their data. Any company that violates these rules can be fined up to six percent of its global revenue. The Digital Services Act still has more hurdles to overcome; negotiations with the European Council will start on 31 January.

On Jan. 13, US Democrats introduced a similar bill that, if passed, would also ban targeted advertising.

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