European Union,International

Election-Watch.EU input on online political advertising regulation in Europe

10 Mar , 2022  

Brussels, 10 March 2022: The European Commission proposed a Regulation of Online Political Advertisement in November 2021. Election-Watch.EU was consulted during the online consultation period and Election-Watch.EU’s Policy Paper on AI and Freedom of Expression in Political Competition and Elections was referenced by the European Commission in its  Impact Assessment Report – SWD(2021)355.

The regulation of political advertising would oblige online service providers along the political advertising value chain to provide additional transparency as well as for personal data protection.  The regulation aims as setting an EU-wide definition for political advertising, which is clear when it comes to political parties and candidates, but less clear when it comes to other campaigning groups like civil society and private companies. The proposed transparency requirements include information on the identity of the sponsor, the amount spent per ad, the relevant election or legislative process, the data source, and the criteria for ad targeting. The proposal also reinforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with prohibitions on the processing of special category data, for both targeting and amplification.

Armin Rabitsch from Election-Watch.EU participated in an online roundtable event organised by EPD together with Open Government Partnership on 24 February 2022. Following the roundtable and with the input of Election-Watch.EU EPD issued a joint policy brief on Bolstering Online Political Advertising together with democratic society and Open Government Partnership on 10 March 2022.

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