Brussels—Digital marketing within the European Union's 27 member countries will be more complicated beginning Saturday when new privacy rules go into effect. The rules require companies to receive explicit permission, or opt-in consent, to track individuals' actions online.
The changes to the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive require that Internet users be given information on the use of the collected data, and then must be presented with an “explicit consent” popup window before cookies are allowed to be stored on their computers for behavioral tracking purposes.
Implementation of the directive, approved last year, was delayed to give companies time to adapt marketing processes to the new requirements.
Among other requirements, companies must secure their opted-in user data and inform users about data that third parties store or access. Companies violating the new law are subject to fines.