ICO issues warning to 'adtech' users
CIPR Members using adtech and engaging in real-time bidding are advised to read the Information Commissioner’s latest report into online advertising and data.
Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is used in programmatic advertising and is underpinned by advertising technology (adtech), allowing advertisers to compete for available digital advertising space in milliseconds. It places billions of automated online adverts on webpages and apps.
The report looks into the processing of special category data, and issues caused by relying solely on contracts for data sharing across the supply chain. It says:
“Under data protection law, using people’s sensitive personal data to serve adverts requires their explicit consent, which is not happening right now. Sharing people’s data with potentially hundreds of companies, without properly assessing and addressing the risk of these counterparties, raises questions around the security and retention of this data.”
The ICO has warned that it wants to see change in industry behaviour and will be spending the next six months continuing to engage with the sector.
If you operate in the adtech space, it’s time to look at what you’re doing now, and to assess how you use personal data. We already have existing, comprehensive guidance in this area, which applies to RTB and adtech in the same way it does to other types of processing – particularly in respect of consent, data protection by design and data protection impact assessments.
Members of the CIPR are bound by our Code of Conduct to observe appropriate regulations in any activity in which they are engaged. Being familiar with the GDPR and hoping for the best does not mean you are competent to handle sensitive personal data. If your role requires you to use RTB and adtech, the ICO report and other resources are recommended reading.
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