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“No more poaching”: News/Media Alliance calls on U.S. FTC to stop Big Tech plundering publisher data

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Rule would limit platforms’ ability to reap first-party consumer data from publishers and potentially shift up to 10% of platform revenue to content creators.

The News/Media Alliance, a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news and magazine media organizations in the United States and globally, has filed comments and an economic study with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on commercial surveillance and data security. 

Highlighting the vital role high-quality journalism plays in supporting a healthy democracy and vibrant local economies – and the importance of digital advertising in supporting journalism – the Alliance has recommended the adoption of a ‘Data Poaching Rule’ that would prohibit dominant tech platforms from poaching first-party consumer data from publishers.

The proposed Data Poaching Rule would grant the sole right to collect consumer data to the known owner (or operator) of the digital property with whom the consumer interacts. Based on the experience of the Apple App Tracking changes, the Alliance estimates that roughly 10 percent of current revenue received by Big Tech platforms will shift to publishers.

Federal consumer privacy rules, if drafted properly, could help rebalance the playing field, with the Data Poaching Rule ensuring that those who produce original content and build long-lasting and trusting relationships with their users benefit the most from digital advertising on their websites.

Danielle Coffey, Alliance Executive Vice President & General Counsel

The comments also call on the FTC to be mindful of existing data security and privacy frameworks so that any new rules would be consistent with these regulations in order to lower compliance cost burdens and provide predictability for publishers.

Based just outside Washington D.C., the News/Media Alliance was created by the merger of The News Media Alliance and The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) in July of this year. News/Media Alliance members represent many of the biggest and most renowned brands in the news publishing and magazine industries.

The News/Media Alliance’s comments can be viewed in full here and the economic study – produced by Hal Singer and Augustus Urschel of Econ One – here.