“In the US, there’s no general data privacy law; online privacy is mostly governed by self-regulation,” said Frederik Borgesius, a researcher at the Institute for Information Law in Amsterdam. Borgesius said data collection – and especially government transparency of personal data – comes with strongly loaded preconceptions in Europe, dating from World War II reconciliation to the 2009 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
“The only possibility to arrive at long-term solutions seems to be amending US law about surveillance by intelligence agencies,” said Borgesius.
Kibel warned that vastly different EU markets and philosophies will continue to impact marketers, and ad tech in particular. “This is very different than the self-regulated world, with industry trade groups working out the parameters of what’s acceptable,” he said.
“Some people think this applies only to personal info, but the EU definition of personal data is extremely broad.”
Americans draw a line in the sand when it comes to personally identifiable information, like name, address and phone number. Europeans push back on cookies and tags that track digital movement, regardless of whether it connects back to a specific individual in the real world.