PANEL: Regulating surveillance ads across the Atlantic

In this day and (digital) age, rumours spread easily. Be it false rumours, creepily-targeted services, or politically – dubious claims, surveillance advertising is a practice that encourages all. 

At the core of BigTech’s business model and an entire AdTech industry sits a process relying extensively on tracking and profiling individuals and groups, and then microtargeting ads at them based on their behavioural history, relationships, and – supposed – identity.

In Europe and United States alike, the debate around how information circulates in our society intensifies. Coalitions of civil society organisations, as well as multi-stakeholder, bipartisan forums are emerging, advocating for stricter regulation of tracking-based ads. EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) has the chance to change the status quo and bring better protections for online platforms’ users and customers alike. Similarly, a new bill proposed by US Democrats aims to tackle the use of digital advertising targeting on ad markets hosted by platforms like Facebook, Google, and other data brokers.

The aim of this session is to find new avenues of cross-Atlantic cooperation between academia, civil society and decision-makers, in order to increase the impact of surveillance ads regulation in US and EU – from adoption to enforcement and impact for people. For this, the following questions will be explored:

  • How can stakeholders use fora such as the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), the Trade&Technology Council (TTC) or any other transnational groups to leverage better regulation of tracking-based ads?
  • Are we witnessing a shift in platform regulation: addressing exploitative business models? What are Big tech defense and lobbying responses? What different roles should civil society, industry and investment associations play in this debate?
  • How can European and US governments representatives take a leadership position in advancing better regulation of tracking-based ads? 
  • Moderator: Finn Myrstad, Director of Digital Policy at the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)
  • Organiser: European Digital Rights (EDRi)


  • Jan Penfrat, Senior Policy Advisor, EDRi
  • Nicole Gill, Co-founder, Accountable Tech (US)
  • Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Vivaldi

Check out the full programme here.

Registrations are open until 24 January, 2022 here.