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Liberties launches petition calling on Google and IAB to stop breaching privacy

The Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) launched the petition ‘Your Data. Your Business.’ today calling on Google and IAB Europe, the standard-setters of the online advertising industry, to change real-time bidding (RTB) and develop a data protection-friendly solution for online advertising. 

In real-time bidding, users’ personal data – including gender, age, location, and browsing history – are collected and broadcast to thousands of companies in the online advertising industry. It allows intimate and very detailed information about people to end up in faraway databases owned by companies they have never heard of. All without their consent.

“Today, we add our signatures to ask for change. To inspire people and show them that their voice matters and that they can speak up for their privacy and that of their family and friends. Under the GDPR, real-time bidding is an unlawful practice and needs to be amended in ways that guarantee European citizens’ online safety”, explains Éva Simon, responsible for strategic litigation at Liberties.

This is not the first action against RTB. In June 2019, Liberties and its partners filed a series of complaints with 13 national data protection offices in 9 countries, asking them to launch investigations into the behavioral advertising industry.

“Google and IAB Europe need to change their standards, limit the use of personal data, and make sure that personal data is not leaked to potential perpetrators. This is the second action we are leading to make it clear that we are the owners of our own data”, adds Orsolya Reich, Liberties’ privacy expert.

All together there are ongoing procedures in 16 EU member states: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. Most of them referred their cases to the Irish Data Protection Commission, which launched a statutory inquiry against Google Ireland.

Your Data is your business. Sign the petition here and protect your privacy.

For more information, please see the petition backgrounder.

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