Advertising: Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), based in New York (USA), was accused of violating the privacy of its users. According to the complaint, the association that develops standards for the digital advertising industry would have made information available, without users’ permission, to ad brokers and other companies.
Access to the data would take place while the ad space is being auctioned, which in turn happens during the loading of the site — a practice known as “real-time bidding”, in free translation from English.
The indictment was made by Johnny Ryan, a member of the Irish Civil Liberties Council. He explains: “These bid requests include inferences from your sexual orientation, religion, what you are reading, watching and listening to, your location.”
The IAB Tech Lab commented saying that it had not received any type of complaint on the matter, although court documents indicate that there were already charges filed as of May 18 this year.
“We are reviewing the allegations in conjunction with our legal advisors and will respond in due course if appropriate,” said an association spokeswoman.
According to Ryan, most people who use online services are unaware of the amount of information that is distributed about them and their destination. The case was brought before a court in Hamburg on the grounds that no one actively consented to such data being collected or shared. The charge is being investigated and has not yet received a legal conclusion.
In defense of users
Apple, on the other hand, has been concerned about the privacy of its customers and seeks to ensure users are in control of their own information. For example, the latest iOS 14 update features a mechanism that enforces “opt-in” consent about having your ads tracked — a feature that was very well received by the public, who mostly opted out.
Without permission to obtain this data, Facebook — which harshly criticized Apple’s decision — would suffer from less effective ads and says the change will more severely affect small businesses.