Sites that detect ad blockers are considered to be breaking European Union law. Though detecting and preventing ad blocker users from accessing content is fine, detecting an ad blocker is a request for user information. Requesting personal information requires getting permission first. Article 5.3 of the ePrivacy Directive makes it clear that gaining information stored in the equipment of a user is allowed on the condition of consent, and they’ve recently clarified that this extends to ad blocking scripts. This is a big deal for the upwards of 500 million people this law covers.
These scripts are spreading like wildfire. It’s possible that a significant portion of the law are breaking the law, and ad blocker users could possibly be able to sue over this breach of privacy. Whether sites will be punished under these circumstances is questionable as of now, but it only proves how little advertisers care about the agency of internet users.
The fear, uncertainty, and doubt campaign against ad blockers is only to turn frustration away from these practices. There still is no solution for the malware that is taking over ad networks, and the absurdity of its existence has yet to enter public consciousness. Foul play will only be able to continue for so long, and once the EU courts come into play, we may see worldwide changes in how ads are served.
Before any future actions are taken in the European Union, it’s a good idea to install an ad blocker. We’re proud to announce that AdClear now supports easy lists for several other languages, like Spanish, Portuguese, French, Polish, and German. These lists allow users to block ads that are native to these languages. If you want to block the ads these sites feel the need to protect, download AdClear from our website. You might get some settlement money, too!