Network-level ad blocking violates EU net neutrality

An EU advisory body has declared that European mobile device operators and internet service providers should be forbidden from imposing blanket blocks on advertising.

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications published guidelines stating the frequent practice is likely a breach of the EU net neutrality laws which came into force in 2015.

Net neutrality laws allow for content blocking only in circumstances conductive to legitimate traffic management and preserving the security of a network.

However, the practice of advertising blocking may still still operate at the device level.

Angus Finnegan, partner at Taylor Wessing, commented:

“The net neutrality regulations do not apply to measures implemented by users through their devices,” and the advisory body “considers that measures implemented at a network level by communication providers to facilitate preferences of users – activated through their devices – should be permissible.”

It is unclear whether the UK will remain bound by the regulations following a full or partial departure from the EU.

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Lexoo Legal Brief contributor | LLM, Queen Mary University of London
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