How a small French privacy ruling could remake adtech for good

A ruling in late October against a little known French adtech firm that popped up on the national data watchdog’s website earlier this month, is causing ripples of excitement to run through privacy watchers in Europe who believe it signals the beginning of the end for creepy online ads.

The excitement is palpable.

Impressively so, given the dry CNIL decision against mobile ‘demand side platform’, Vectaury, was only published in the regulator’s native dense French legalese.

Here is the bombshell though: Consent through the @IABEurope framework is inherently invalid. Not because of a technical detail. Not because of an implementation aspect that could be fixed. No.
You cannot pass consent to another controller through a contractual relationship. BOOM pic.twitter.com/xMlNHJTKwl

— Robin Berjon (@robinberjon) November 16, 2018

Digital advertising trade press AdExchanger picked up on the decision yesterday.

Here’s the killer paragraph from CNIL’s ruling — translated into “rough English” by my TC colleague Romain Dillet:

The requirement based on the article 7 above-mentioned isn’t fulfilled with a contractual clause that guarantees validly collected initial consent.

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