A new EU data regulation has been accused of presenting a “significant challenge” for advertisers. The new privacy regime has been approved by the European Union and will prevent marketers from using user data without direct consent. Whilst the new General Data Protection Regulation won't come into effect until 2018, Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers, said that he was surprised that “more marketers have not woken up to the implications”. He added that it would “affect companies who rely on third party data” due to their lack of “a direct relationship with the public". However, the move hasn't been universally criticised, with many saying that a reaction to privacy issues has been long overdue following incidents such as the recent hack of Yahoo. PageFair's Dr Johnny Ryan said that “the EU is finally bringing a standard of privacy to digital, preventing the arbitrary collection and exchange of personal data that has been going on for 20 years”.