Dutch websites are now able to check whether their visitors use ad blockers.

The Netherlands now follow European guidelines which require websites to get a green light from the consumer before an anti-ad-blocker script can be run and potentially hide content on a page.

“If the detection of ad blockers means that a website gets access to information on the device of the user, the visitor must give their informed consent first,” said a European Commission spokesperson quoted by RTL Z.

The only thing differentiating the Dutch sites from their European counterparts is that they do not need a permission from a user if accessing their information does not breach privacy laws.

Vicious circle

With ad blocking rising globally, websites are starting to fight back, and detecting ad blockers is one way to take control of the situation.

It has been common practice among sites such as the Washington Post, Wired and NY Times to stop ad-blocker users from accessing the pages altogether.

The Guardian also confirmed it would consider banning content from its readers if ad blockers become more widespread. With users shutting off ads and websites cutting visitors off, the vicious circle is lock shut.

The Netherlands is one of the countries most affected by ad blockers and is now trying to tackle the issue head-on.

To change the trend and enhance browsing experience, the Dutch IAB has brought a campaign for ad blocker users explaining how ads provide free accessible websites and encouraging whitelisting.