The EU’s war on behavioral advertising

The digital advertising industry is undergoing a major shift in response to privacy-related changes. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework, Google’s deprecation of third-party cookies, and the implementation of privacy legislation like the California Privacy Rights Act and the EU General Data Protection Regulation have all had a significant impact. The EU has been particularly aggressive in its battle against behavioral advertising, and major platforms like Meta, Snap, and TikTok have made changes to their products in response. Behavioral advertising, which relies on user data, is being replaced by contextual advertising as regulations tighten. The long-term effects of these changes are uncertain, but they could include explicit user preferences, non-personalized feeds, and degraded user experiences for those who opt out. There is also a risk of platforms de-prioritizing investments in the EU market. While regulation is necessary to protect privacy, some argue that the EU has gone too far, and the effects of these measures may become apparent in the coming years.

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