Google adopts non-personal ad targeting for the GDPR

The PageFair Team GDPR

This note examines Google’s recent announcement on the GDPR. Google has sensibly adopted non-personal ad targeting. This is very significant step forward and signals a change in the online advertising market. But Google has also taken a new and problematic approach to consent for personal data use in advertising that publishers will find hard to accept.  Google decides to use non-personal ad targeting to comply with the GDPR  Last Thursday Google sent a policy update to business partners across the Internet announcing that it would launch an advertising service based on non-personal data in order to comply with the GDPR.[1] PageFair has advocated a non-personal approach to advertising for some time, and commends Google for taking this position. As we noted six months ago,[2] Google AdWords, for example, can operate without consent if it discards personalized targeting features (and unique IDs).…

PageFair writes to all EU Member States about the ePrivacy Regulation

Dr Johnny Ryan GDPR

This week PageFair wrote to the permanent representatives of all Member States of the European Union in support for the proposed ePrivacy Regulation. Our remarks were tightly bounded by our expertise in online advertising technology. We do not have an opinion on how the proposed Regulation will impact other areas. The letter addresses four issues: PageFair supports the ePrivacy Regulation as a positive contribution to online advertising, provided a minor amendment is made to paragraph 1 of Article 8. We propose an amendment to Article 8 to allow privacy-by-design advertising. This is because the current drafting of Article 8 will prevent websites from displaying privacy-by-design advertising. We particularly support the Parliament’s 96th and 99th amendments. These are essential to enable standard Internet Protocol connections to be made in many useful contexts that do not impact of privacy.…

GDPR consent design: how granular must adtech opt-ins be?

Dr Johnny Ryan GDPR

This note examines the range of distinct adtech data processing purposes that will require opt-in under the GDPR.[1] In late 2017 the Article 29 Working Party cautioned that “data subjects should be free to choose which purpose they accept, rather than having to consent to a bundle of processing purposes”.[2] Consent requests for multiple purposes should “allow users to give specific consent for specific purposes”.[3]  Rather than conflate several purposes for processing, Europe’s regulators caution that “the solution to comply with the conditions for valid consent lies in granularity, i.e. the separation of these purposes and obtaining consent for each purpose”.[4] This draws upon GDPR, Recital 32.[5] In short, consent requests must be granular, showing opt-ins for each distinct purpose. How granular must consent opt-ins be?

DSP ‘contextual’ targeting offers solution to strict GDPR regulations

David Barton GDPR

Programmatic online advertising will not cease to exist because of the GDPR or the proposed ePrivacy Directive. Personally-identifiable information (PII) may seem essential to digital advertising, but it is not the only way to target a relevant audience. Targeting based on context was a reliable method for decades before we came to rely on collecting and cross-referencing vast amounts of intrusive data.

Why the GDPR ‘legitimate interest’ provision will not save you

Dr Johnny Ryan GDPR

The “legitimate interest” provision in the GDPR will not save behavioral advertising and data brokers from the challenge of obtaining consent for personally identifiable data. As previous PageFair analysis illustrates, personally identifiable data (PII) will become toxic except where it has been obtained and used with consent once the General Data Protection Regulation is applied in May 2018. Even so, many advertising intermediaries believe that they can continue to use PII data without consent because of an apparent carve-out related to “legitimate interest” contained in the GDPR. This is a false hope.

The Need to Know Adblock Slidedeck (updated!)

Dr Johnny Ryan Uncategorized

Dr Johnny Ryan of PageFair presented at The Advertising Research Foundation in New York this month. This presentation includes The latest adblock figures globally and for the US Demographic discussion of who adblock users are Options for media owners to address adblocking, from access restriction to tamper-proof ad serving Unexpected benefits for marketers from the adblocking crisis     He was speaking alongside Omnicom, Annalect, and Intel.…

Ten Key Things That Happened in Q4

Dr Johnny Ryan Adblocking, GDPR

Amid the blizzard of press releases and conference tidbits concerning media, advertising, and adblocking, only some really matter. Here are the ten key things that happened in Q4. OCTOBER 1. US Department of Justice examines possible agency shenanigans.  It transpired that the US Department of Justice had launched an investigation into rigged bids that unfairly favored advertising agencies’ in-house services over others, at clients’ expense. The Association of National Advertisers’ report into agency kickbacks, released in June, exposed agency practises that shortchanged clients, and several big brand CMOs launched audits of their agencies. But the DOJ investigation now raises the stakes for agency executives: previous investigations in 2002 resulted in prison sentences. 2. Media consolidation AT&T agreed a deal to purchase Time Warner for $85.4 Billion.…

The Rules of Adblocking: How Block Lists Work

David Barton Adblocking

This note is a layman’s guide to how the “block lists” that power adblocking work. A block list contains tens of thousands of rules that govern how a website should be displayed. There are two types of rules. “Filter” rules define what should be blocked. “Exception” rules define what content should be displayed. The most popular block list, “EasyList”, contains tens of thousands of these filters and exceptions.

Publishers – your only weapon is trust

Dr Johnny Ryan Adblocking, GDPR, Uncategorized

Adblocking—and publisher responses to it—sit at the nexus of two trends: the increasing value of trust in the publisher-consumer relationship, and the emerging conditions of the new information market. The Internet turns many types of information that were once scarce and expensive into overabundant—and therefore cheap—commodities. By corollary, trust and attention have become increasingly valuable. In short: As information becomes cheap, trust becomes precious.