European Commission moves forward with regulation for online advertising

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Věra Jourová, the Vice President of Values ​​and Transparency of the European Commission, expressed at the Web Summit Conference her thanks to whistleblowers like Frances Haugen for “opening the black box” and helping make it easier for governments to advocate for regulation of big digital companies.

The commissioner today gave a press conference as part of the Web Summit. At the time, the person responsible for transparency policies, she announced that she would go ahead, later this month, with a legislative package for online advertising.

“Within a few weeks, beginning on November 23, we will present measures for online political advertising. Currently, advertising for political purposes is not regulated”, explains Věra Jourová, adding that this situation raises doubts and “there are those who try to influence elections or behavior”.

The commissioner argued that "we must ensure that people have freedom of choice." “We need to ensure that the information users come online is not fed by shady algorithms or an anonymous army of bots,” she added.

"We want to increase transparency and regulate the methods for selecting the target audience", defended the vice-president of the European Commission, adding that "our democracy is too valuable, we need to move fast".

Věra Jourová explains that part of the proposed solution should go through the obligation of companies to disclose to users who paid for the ad and the criteria for being chosen as the target audience.

"By forcing companies to report, it makes them more accountable," she adds, stressing that "freedom of expression should always be protected, even if it means people are free to say stupid things."