In a recent report, the Irish Civil Liberties Council (ICCL) detailed the massive breach of security of data around the world.
The online real-time bidding mechanism appears to be the source of the breaches (RTB).
What is real-time bidding (RTB)?
The technique of purchasing and selling adverts in real time on a per-impression basis in an instant auction is known as real-time bidding (RTB). A supply-side platform (SSP) or an ad exchange can help with this.
Advertisers may bid on an impression of a publisher's inventory at any time. The user sees the ad with the highest bid because it is the one that wins. Therefore, advertisers can better optimize their audience target with this technique, resulting in increased ROI and CPMs.
Why is the RTB process a breach of security for online users?
RTB, according to the ICCL, tracks and records what you're looking at and sends this data to companies. As a result, companies have the ability to profile you.
Even if there is no data that can directly help to identify users, Dr. Johnny Ryan (Senior Fellow at the ICCL) claims that this is the largest data breach ever. No one consented to it, and that happens every day in a fraction of a second.
According to the study's findings, the RTB tracks and shares what users see online as well as their physical location 294 billion times in the US. However, the figure in Europe is lower, reaching 197 billion times.
As a result, data from Europeans and Americans is transferred throughout the world, generating an estimated $117+ billion in 2021.
After working in the advertising industry, Johnny Ryan argues that few users are aware of the quantity of data disclosed about them.
"Every time we load a page on a commercial website or use an app, the website or app tells tens or hundreds of companies all about us, so that their clients can decide whether to bid on the opportunity to show you an ad," he says.
According to the ICCL report, Google and Microsoft are the largest RTB firms. Google sends data to around 1,058 companies in Europe and 4,698 in the United States.
The ICCL is now battling the digital advertising sector in court.
Last updated: May 27, 2022