UK privacy watchdog unveils new adtech restrictions
Commissioner Elizabeth Denham published an opinion this week which stresses that companies designing new methods of online advertising must comply with data protection law and must stop excessively collecting people’s data.
The ICO cites Google, whose Privacy Sandbox aims to replace the use of third party cookies. However, the alternatives will still enable targeted digital advertising.
Google has since agreed to the new amendments, and has released a blog post outlining its own revisions.
ICO’s opinion states that “any proposal that has the effect of maintaining or replicating existing tracking practices (such as those described in the 2019 Report) is not an acceptable response to the significant data protection risks that the Commissioner has already described.”
The ICO is cooperating with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review how Google’s plans will safeguard people’s personal data.
The idea is to enforce a data-protection-by-design approach – allowing users to choose whether to receive adverts with or without tracking, profiling or targeting based on personal data.
Advertising technologies must be transparent about how and why personal data is processed across the ecosystem, who is responsible for that processing, and demonstrate how it is fair, lawful and transparent. They must also address existing privacy risks and lessen any new privacy risks that their proposal presents.
“What we found during our ongoing adtech work is that companies are collecting and sharing a person’s information with hundreds, if not thousands of companies, about what that person is doing and looking at online in order to show targeted ads or content. Most of the time, individuals are not aware that this is happening or have not given their explicit consent. This must change,” says information commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
“That is why we want to influence current and future commercial proposals on methods for online advertising early on, so that the changes made are not just window dressing, but actually give people meaningful control over their personal data.”
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