Furman review - digital adverts must be more transparent

March 13, 2019




An independent report for the UK Government on the state of competition in digital markets, led by President Obama’s chief economic adviser Jason Furman, has called for more transparency in digital advertising. The report recommends that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launches a formal market study into the digital advertising sector which is dominated by Google and Facebook. The call comes amid growing fears over the spread of disinformation on social media in the wake of the Brexit referendum. Open Knowledge International, which campaigns for digital openness, has called for urgent steps to be taken ahead of this year’s European elections and a possible UK General Election.

Catherine Stihler, chief executive of Open Knowledge International, said: “This report highlights the market dominance of Google and Facebook and the urgent need for greater transparency. “While the digital world has transformed our lives in a positive way, it has also allowed the spread of disinformation and the dismissal of basic facts. “The proposals for a set of pro-competition measures to open up digital markets are very welcome and we urge the UK Government to act swiftly. “Digital advertising is a key influence on our political world, and there is now a vital need for greater transparency - especially ahead of this year’s European elections and with the growing prospect of a snap UK General Election.”



The report can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unlocking-digital-competition-report-of-the-digital-competition-expert-panel

Contact: Alan Roden at alan.roden@okfn.org or +44 07753 904 531


The Open Knowledge Foundation helps governments, universities, and civil society organisations reach their full potential by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use, and understand data. We are the experts in opening up knowledge: we created the Open Definition in 2005, the gold standard for open data, and have over ten years of experience in addressing technological, legal and social challenges around open data. We believe in a world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few.

We deliver technology solutions, enhance data literacy, provide cutting-edge research and mobilise communities to provide value for a wide range of international clients. Our track record includes the development of pioneering databases for fiscal and medical transparency, world leading open data benchmarks such as the Global Open Data Index, and data training programs with key non-profit organisations such as Global Witness. We work with a range of international NGOs, such as Transparency International, as well as governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, United States, Panama, and Sweden.

Read more here: https://okfn.org

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