WAN-IFRA takes steps to control data leakage

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has launched a new initiative to ensure that users of news sites are protected from unauthorized collection of data, said an official press release published by Deputy CEO and Director of Communications and Public Affairs Larry Kilman on 8 June.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | June 11, 2013

The issue of data leakage – the unwanted transfer of data from publishers to third parties, often by the use of cookies associated with advertisements – is a growing issue in the online world. Advertisers and agencies can place these data collectors along with advertisements, which often can collect information even if the user does not click on the advertisement.

WAN-IFRA has launched an initiative to create guidelines to prevent the unauthorized collection of data. A draft version of the guidelines can be downloaded here (PDF document at the bottom of the webpage), whilst an updated version will be released at the World Publishing Expo, in Berlin from 7-9 October.

“It is important to be transparent about how data is collected and used,” said Stig Nordqvist, Executive Director for Emerging Digital Platforms and Business Development at WAN-IFRA. “If we don’t control data leakage, we can’t assure that private information is used only in ways that users and advertisers have agreed to.”

The problem occurs when an advertisement places a cookie on a user’s computer via an advertisement on a website without informing the publisher that user data will be collected. The new initiative aims to safeguard trust of users and advertisers by informing them about how data is collected and used. The current draft version stipulates that “third parties are not permitted, without prior written approval from the Publisher, to collect or obtain data relating to users of the Publisher for the purpose of targeting these users with advertising… nor to categorise/segment these users for any other commercial purpose by using cookies or other tracking methods.”  It also aims to safeguard publishers’ control of their advertising and prevent unauthorized parties from collecting user information.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Deputy CEO and Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 07. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail:

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