The Open Rights Group (ORG) is suing
the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for closing its investigation into the adtech industry’s anti-GDPR practices.
Huh? Two years ago, ORG tattled on the advertising industry for routinely breaching the GDPR. The ICO did a little digging around and found a treasure trove of shady behavior.
Like companies collecting and sharing people’s browser histories without restricting who can access them in the future. It’s a systemic violation of privacy, and the reason you’re creeped out by how accurate Facebook’s targeted ads are.
Then things got weird. In September, the ICO pulled the plug on the investigation for no reason. ORG was pretty peeved and lawyered up. It’s convinced the ICO can’t be bothered with the hassle of holding adtech accountable, and would rather sweep the complex case under the rug.
For advertisers, the GDPR is the annoying little brother you have to take everywhere. Data privacy gets in the way of what adtech is supposed to do – trade as much personal data as possible.
Making the two see eye-to-eye is a mammoth job the ICO just wasn’t up for.
For everyone else, the story is a little different. People have an increasing sense of ownership over their data, and want authorities to curb when it’s used illegally.
2020 hasn’t been kind to adtech. Earlier this week, Oracle and Salesforce were hit
with big class action suits in the High Court for improperly using browser data.