IAB Europe expresses disappointment over new Mozilla browser settings
Brussels 5 March 2013 – IAB Europe expresses disappointment that Mozilla’s new browser cookie settings, which will come into effect in early April, will block third party cookies by default. This move will switch off a significant part of the industry and undermine pan-European industry-wide efforts to empower Mozilla Firefox users through improved transparency and better choices about how to manage their online footprint.
Digital advertising today helps to fund content, services and applications that consumers enjoy for little or no cost. The economic benefits to European consumers have been assessed by McKinsey to amount to EUR 69bn in 2010*. But digital advertising also helps businesses – many SMEs – support and drive their businesses. IAB Europe, representing over 5,500 organisations in the online advertising, media, market research and analytics, has spear-headed an industry-wide self-regulation effort across Europe to provide consumers with greater transparency and control over targeted advertising in a consistent way. “The Mozilla approach will undermine this effort and deny consumers” says Kimon Zorbas, Vice President of IAB Europe.
“Self-regulatory efforts aim to give consumers more information and control. These efforts have received strong support from the European Commission and many national governments,” points out Zorbas. “The new Mozilla setting denies consumer choice, undermines industry efforts to responsibly manage control. Plus Mozilla threatens to completely undermine ad-funded content on the internet,” he adds.
“We invite Mozilla to engage in discussions with other industry players on the best and most effective enhancements to online experiences for users,” proposes Zorbas, adding: “We are seeking to ensure that as the online sector we are aligned in our initiatives and, also with self-regulatory programmes at European level. Switching off an entire industry does not benefit users in the long run, raises serious competition issues, at least in Europe and threatens to tear apart the foundation of a free internet.”
* Consumers driving the digital uptake – The economic value of online advertising-based services for consumers, McKinsey, September 2010