COLOGNE — The ad director of one of France’s biggest telcos has explained how French operators can sometimes be hamstrung by rules when it comes to new-wave ad tech and digital targeting.

“We have a legal question,” according to Luc Vignon, the director of SFR Regie, the ad sales house of SFR, one of the country’s largest telcos, broadband and mobile operators. “The CNIL (National Data Processing and Liberties Commission) is very attentive for privacy.

“We have to respect the law. Technically, we can do a lot of things – but we don’t do a lot of things, because of the law.”

The commission is responsible for ensuring that privacy law is adhered to in the collection, storage, and use of personal data. That includes where data pertains to ad targeting.

US ad tech execs often note that doing targeting in France is relatively more difficult.

One of the most interesting rules monitored by CNIL, according to a Wikipedia summary, is that “no decision about an individual can be decided by a computer”.


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