New EU Data Protection Regulations; Eyeo Reveals Funding for Adblock Plus

ExchangeWire rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European digital advertising space. In this week’s edition: EU has decided on new data protection regulations; Eyeo is financed by whitelisted marketers; and AppNext partners with Hisense.

EU finally hauls data protection laws into 21st century

Twenty years after an initial data protection policy, and four years in the making: On Tuesday the EU finally agreed on new privacy laws within the EU; which are going to be ratified by the 28 member states within the next two years.

Consumers can expect good news. The new regulation will allow consumers more input on how their data is used and stored. And to be sure that companies comply with the new regulations, the EU suggests hefty fines for those who breach these rules: companies could be fined up to 4% of their global sales.

The onus is also put on companies when it comes to liability. Joint liability for compliance with data privacy regulations will make sure that companies choose their partners carefully – and comply with laws.

Moreover, the EU is also enshrining the 'right to be forgotten' in their new legislation. In the future, consumers can demand their private data to be erased by marketing companies as soon as they close their account, a decision that is bound to have consequences for marketing companies, as they have to develop alternatives to using data to confer marketing messages.

Lastly, the EU negotiators also agreed on a new deal regarding the sharing of data between law enforcement agencies. A new directive which will detail the exact limits of data sharing can be expected soon.

Adblocking is not a hobby

Eyeo GmbH, the company behind controversial Adblock Plus ad blocker, reveals their 'secret' funding: apart from user donations, most of Eyeo’s revenue comes from their Acceptable Ads scheme, whereby companies can pay to be whitelisted and thus escape being blocked by the ad blocker.

Not all whitelisted companies have to cough up, though. According to Eyeo, only “larger entities” have to pay a licensing fee. The “larger entities” are defined by Eyeo as sites that garner "more than 10 million additional ad impressions per month due to participation in the Acceptable Ads scheme”. Therefore, only a small number of large companies who are willing to pay to be whitelisted, finance the ad blocking technology developed by Eyeo; while 90% of participants receive Eyeo’s services for free, the company reveals on their website.

The funding, received through donations and the Acceptable Ads whitelisting scheme, is going into further development of the ad blocker, Eyeo said. "Eyeo is not just about Adblock Plus and Acceptable Ads. Our mission is to make the internet better. We intend to do so by creating new ways for publishers to earn money from their content without alienating their users. This is not something a single person can do as a hobby.”

AppNext and Hisense partnership

A partnership between AppNext and Hisense will see the app distributors's App Discovery widget included in the device manufacturer’s mobiles. With AppNext’s widget, Hisense is hoping to enhance their mobile experience with personalised content offers and app recommendation technology:

Recommendations are geo-sensitive and based on advanced algorithms, showing contextually relevant, live campaigns.

“The demand for mobile applications is rapidly increasing, due to the massive growth in mobile devices in recent years. Delivering a holistic customer experience that includes technology and innovation is a critical factor to business success”, says Elad Natanson, co-founder, Appnext. “We are excited to partner with Hisense to deliver our technology solution, improve content offering and empower their mobile business growth”.

According to Wang Gui Cheng, director of product at Hisense, more than half a million mobile devices have been delivered with the Appnext App Discovery widget installed.