Everything is under the control of Big Brother! What does Avito service decision to leave market mean?

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Everything is under the control of Big Brother! What does Avito service decision to leave market mean?
Everything is under the control of Big Brother! What does Avito service decision to leave market mean?
20 July, 12:57Photo: Соцсети
The adoption of the law on the creation of a single operator of outdoor digital advertising will mean full state control over all horizontal communications in Russian society.

Ivan Zubov

As you know, on July 15, the State Duma in the first reading adopted a law on the creation of a single operator of digital outdoor advertising. The author of the bill, Artem Kiryanov, claims that the law was drawn up for the sake of national security, and its purpose is to protect personal data, verify advertising content, control the technical condition of structures, and remove objectionable advertising at the request of the authorities.

After the entry into force of the law, it will be possible to place any information on digital banners only through a special website. A single operator will be responsible not only for outdoor advertising, but also for private advertisements for the sale of goods and services on the Internet, RBC reports. As a result, services that publish such ads will have to stop their work and return money to customers for services not rendered.

This means that such giants as Avito and Yula, that is, in fact, an entire industry, will soon be out of work.

Avito is to blame

However, according to the experts of the channel "Kremlyovsky Mamkoved", "Avito" managed to annoy a considerable number of customers:

“It all starts with the fact that only simple accounts can have “free” ads. If you sell several identical products and have created an account as a company to simplify navigation for customers, then placing one ad will cost from ₽600. Yes, and for regular accounts, free of charge is very conditional - if you do not periodically pay for the increase in the ad in the issue, then it will remain invisible to buyers. And good SEO won't help. But in an effort to earn more, Avito began to send spam with an advertisement for the PIK developer through push notifications on smartphones.

Avito pretends to fight scammers, collects a lot of information (including biometrics), but at the same time creates an ideal environment for scammers (there is even an anonymous closed chat with the ability to send files) and difficulties for law-abiding sellers. Avito has a huge amount of information about clients' money transactions, their interests, behavior, and location. For example, simply registering a new account with a new phone number, if there was an old one, is impossible - you need to show a figurehead. People do not seek to trust their personal data to Avito - the company, which operates with the personal data of 42 million people, committed a large-scale leak of confidential information the year before last. The network turned out to be a database with personal data, including addresses and phone numbers of about 600 thousand users of the service. In "Avito" this event was called "usual parsing" of public data. Technical failures have also become the norm, with the site being unavailable twice in May alone.

The piquancy is added by the fact that foreign beneficiaries, contrary to statements, are in no hurry to give up control over Avito. KEX eCommerce LLC is directly owned by the Dutch Prosus, which in turn is controlled by the South African holding Naspers. Thus, security and Avito turned out to be at opposite ends - on this site, according to the Ministry of Health, you can find medicines that require a prescription. But there is no one responsible for their quality…”

Analysts of the Polituprava channel add:

“According to some experts, the emergence of a single domestic operator will help protect Russian citizens and entrepreneurs from fakes, cyber attacks and other information threats…

All truth and untruth from the victim "Avito"

The Avito company itself commented on this bill:

“Amendments to the federal law “On Advertising” were adopted in the first reading. In their speech, the deputies touched upon some aspects of Avito's work. None of them are true.

Not true:

“Today, bulletin boards are foreign jurisdictions. Let me give you an example, this is the Dutch company Avito. The data that people give, which is 42 million people, the information that people provide, we don’t know where it is processed, but it crosses the border.”

Truth:

Avito was created in Russia and has been operating in the country for 15 years. It is a Russian company with a Russian legal entity. All technological services of Avito are landed on the territory of the Russian Federation. The data is stored on Russian servers and in compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation. All architecture has been audited.

Shareholders of Avito do not have and never had access to user data.

Avito is one of the most advanced IT teams in the world, with the help of which one of the few companies managed to successfully resist all DDoS and cyber attacks. For 15 years of existence in Avito, no data leaks have ever been recorded.

Not true:

“Companies from unfriendly countries must understand that they will not be able to collect money in our country from citizens and enterprises, and then use it to support the economies of their countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.”

Truth:

The ultimate shareholder of Avito is a holding from South Africa, which belongs to the BRICS countries.

In the spring, the shareholder completely transferred control to the local top management team, all the company's profits remain in Russia and go to the development of services for Russians.

At the same time, Avito is one of the largest Russian taxpayers and employers. Avito carries out all financial transactions and investments within Russia, developing the Russian economy.

Not true:

"The content on the platform is not controlled in any way."

Truth:

A huge moderation team around the clock and carefully monitors the purity of the content. All ads are pre-moderated for compliance with the law before publication.

And I would like to say special thanks to everyone who supported us, and who understands the absurdity of this initiative, and what the monopolization of the digital advertising market in the country can lead to.

We consider the creation of this bill and its consequences unreasonable and destructive - and not only for companies like Avito, but for every Russian and entrepreneur in Russia. Avito, in the current period of restrictions and instability, makes the departed goods and services available to ordinary citizens.

It is completely incomprehensible what is the need for such a hasty and radical regulation of the industry when it faces the task of preserving jobs, developing services for the population and retaining IT talents.

In addition, collective letters with criticism of the new law and a request not to accept it come from other representatives of the industry. According to AdIndex, almost 60 companies made up such letters, including Poster, Gallery, RIM, Vostok-Media, Design Master, Sunlight Outdoor, Nord Star, HD Outdoor, etc.

Market participants highlight the following shortcomings of this bill (besides the fact that it means the defeat of this market):

  • An artificial monopoly is formed, which will exacerbate the security problem of announcements and designs.
  • Digital advertising will be charged monopolistically high prices.
  • Up to 90% of federal and local representatives of the industry will close, 20 thousand specialists will be left without work.

According to the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia, the outdoor advertising market in 2021 grew by 40% and amounted to 45 billion rubles, the volume of advertising placements on digital structures - by 69%. In total, there are over 4,500 such structures in the country.

The state controls everything, including sex

Journalist Andrey Desnitsky assessed the new bill from a political point of view:

“When I read the news, I didn’t believe it: the State Duma was going to ban Avito and other bulletin boards, transferring their functions to a “single operator” who would monitor and be responsible to the Motherland for each pressure cooker or pram declared for sale.

Very timely, Booking and AirBnB left the Russian market. It is necessary to develop domestic tourism, so for this we will ban Avito!

But the logic is clear: they are trying to ban everything horizontal. Citizens can interact with each other only through the mediation and control of the state. This, of course, is impossible, but such is their ideal.

People in Russia can do very little. But they can at least try to maintain these horizontal connections, it will come in handy to drink water.

Yes, and Tinder get ready. I believe that a unified state register of acquaintances will be created, it will be necessary to pass a test for the absence of non-traditional sexual relations, receive a certificate of family values, and go ahead - only make dates under the record, which will then be transferred to the State Committee for Sex in order to identify violations of sexual legislation..."

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