The European Union (EU) has issuing a ruling preventing mobile phone companies from blocking ads across their networks.
Mobile firms including Hutchinson Whampoa-owned Three have partnered with software developers to block ads at a network level in the UK and Italy, but the EU’s latest comments appear to pour cold water on these efforts.
As first spotted by the Financial Times, the net neutrality guidelines published by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications states that telecoms firms cannot “block, slow down, alter, restrict, interfere with, degrade or discriminate advertising” when providing an internet access service.
The ‘Paragraph 78’ guidance will now be passes on to national regulators for implementation.
However, Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer of Shine Technologies, the ad block software developer which partnered with Three earlier this year, told the FT he believed the guidance “will be challenged and fail”.
“It infringes on the rights of European citizens to defend their private communications from unlawful tracking and profiling,” Carthy added.