IGF 2019 WS #396 Broken by Design: Reforming Online Advertising

Organizer 1: Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Don Marti, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Rory Sutherland, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Eaon Pritchard, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Aram Zucker-Scharff, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Julie Bilby, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 6: Catherine Armitage, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

Reform of ad-driven business online: What’s the appropriate form of regulation to protect users’ rights and not stifle innovation? Should there be regulation on how websites handle opt-outs and objections to data processing?

Cross-border data processing: How do we mitigate differing data governance models, e.g. how should sites handle user data when some users are in a consent-based jurisdiction and others are in an opt-out jurisdiction?

Role of technology: How can we incentives privacy-protecting technologies and new business models without disrupting online services?

Relevance to Theme: It’s not news anymore that data is the prime currency of today’s web, who collects it, who has access, who controls it, who capitalises on it, has come to define much of our interactions online -- and in large part this is driven by an increasingly personalised ad ecosystem. This mustn’t be the case. And in this session, we want to lay out potential paths to governing our data in less intrusive and more rights-respecting manners.

Relevance to Internet Governance: This session tackles one of the most critical questions of Internet Governance -- which business models are out there that do not build on harvesting and selling huge amounts of personal data? If we want to think through and develop alternatives to the currently dominant ad business, we need all stakeholders on board because all of us are affected and the solution won’t be easy, we need to look at network infrastructures, regulations, user control, and business incentives. That’s what we will discuss in this session.


Debate - Classroom - 90 Min

Description: Advertising is the dominant business model online today – and it has allowed a plethora of platforms, services, and publishers to operate without direct payment from end users. However, there is clearly a crisis of trust among these end users, driving skepticism of advertising, annoyance, and a sharp increase in adoption of content blockers. Ad fraud, adtech centralization, and bad practices like cryptojacking and pervasive tracking have made the web a difficult – and even hostile – environment for users and publishers alike. While advertising is not the only contributing factor, it is clear that the status quo is crumbling. This workshop will bring together stakeholders from across the online ecosystem to examine the role that ethics, policy, and technology play in increasing online trust, improving end user experience, and bolstering sustainable economic models for the web.

Expected Outcomes: Participants will have the opportunity to join the rarest group on the Internet: the advertising optimists. We’ll learn how advertising doesn’t have to be just a low-value, creepy intrusion on the web, but a way to sustain news and cultural work the way that print advertising did.

Discussion Facilitation: 

Interactive discussions when an opportunity for education is identified. This section will need to be further developed

Online Participation: 

This section will need to be further developed


GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure