What the focus on the AdTech industry and cookies means for your organisation
Published On: 25th July 2019
Home » Blog » What the focus on the AdTech industry and cookies means for your organisation
In the past month the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued both a report on the AdTech industry and a new guidance on cookies that have far-reaching consequences for all organisations.
First, on 20th June 2019, the ICO published their updated report into AdTech and real time bidding, with findings that may affect the whole online advertising industry. The ICO focused specifically on the processing of special categories of data, and the widespread data sharing across the AdTech sector. They will continue to investigate the industry in the next six months, and online advertisers are strongly encouraged to review their practices in light of this report.
The French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) adopted a similar action plan for 2019-2020 on 28th June 2019, making investigating online targeting practices in the industry a priority.
This does not only target ad brokers and advertisers, but also any publisher (i.e. website editor) relying on such providers. As a website editor (publisher), you determine the means and purposes of the processing for the personal data of users visiting your website, and you will be considered as a controller under the data protection legislation.
Any organisation involved in digital advertising is accountable for the online targeting solution they use. Today, most organisations have some form of digital advertising activities and work, to some extent, with advertisers. Very few organisations are able to conduct their own digital advertising campaigns from A to Z.
Analytics cookies cannot be considered as strictly necessary and you must seek consent for such cookies as well.
You cannot use a cookie wall to restrict access to your site until users’ consent.
You cannot rely on legitimate interests to set cookies, consent is always required for non-essential cookies, such as those used for the purposes of marketing and advertising.
As a website publisher, you have to determine how your cookie banner will collect consent from your visitors, meaning that you are responsible for this technical solution.
It is equally important to note that such regulatory movement is not happening only in the UK, but in other EU countries where Data Protection Authorities have issued similar statements. The French CNIL has followed with a similar updated cookies guidance, and the Irish Data Protection Commission is currently investigating Google and Quantcast on their digital advertising practices.
Let’s not forget that Google has been fined €50 million in January 2019 by the CNIL expressly because the giant was not properly capturing consent to deliver digital advertising to their users.
This should now be a wake-up call for many advertisers and publishers in the EU.
To understand how this will affect your organisation, we are happy to provide support and review your current practices where necessary.
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