EU data supervisor seeks restrictions on political advertising
The new rule complements the General Data Protection Regulation
European Data Protection Supervisor Wojciech Wiewiórowski has sought additional restrictions on political advertising to be included in a group of new legislation adopted by the European Commission.
The legislation was the 'Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transparency and targeting of political advertisements.'
Wiewiórowski explained that the objective of the legislative changes was to promote democracy in the European Union (EU). However, he was concerned that the provisions did not quell the effect of targeted political advertising on free and frank democratic elections.
He called for increased legislative protections against such advertising. These should include a prohibition on political micro-targeting, restricting data that political advertisers could process, and banning the use of pervasive tracking to inform the targeted advertising.
Wiewiórowski was of the view that the existing business models behind many online services had contributed to increasing political and ideological (polarization), disinformation and manipulation. Targeted advertising and amplification mechanisms were instrumental in provoking such harms.
He considered that the recommendations on online-targeted advertising were even more valid in the political context, keeping in mind the potential negative impact on the integrity of democracy and its representative institutions.
Several rights under the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights were engaged in the issue of targeted advertising. These included the right to protection of personal data (Article 8), the right to respect for privacy (Article 7) and the right to freedom of information (Article 11).
Wiewiórowski highlighted that the new legislation was to complement the General Data Protection Regulation.