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A New Court Ruling Could Enforce Stricter Ad Tracking Rules For Europe In The Near Future

We could all soon be witnessing stricter ad tracking rules for Europe in the near future after an upcoming court ruling.

The ruling would determine if inferred data is still considered to be a form of personal data and if that’s the case, the advertising industry could further witness drastic losses.

To put it in perspective, this could mean that if a firm could determine more information about a user, then those sorts of details are going to be protected as much as a user’s personal data would be if it was handed over.

To better understand this ruling, let’s dive down deep into the concept of ad tracking and what regulations are currently in place.

See, for starters, iPhones and their tracking work in a very straightforward manner. Apple assigns identifiers to different devices while keeping the device owner’s details private. However, it does allow various advertising networks to witness which gadget websites the owner happened to visit.

Hence, to put it simply, it would serve as a great target for those providing gadget ads. In addition to that, it highlights which ads were already shown to that particular user for a certain product on a certain site. And if that person went off to a certain retailer to make the purchase, it would prove that the ad turned out to be a success.

At the moment, the stringent GDPR privacy rules in place are another way of saying EU users need to consent to give away their data, other than some small exceptions of course. But the data in question here is that provided by the user itself.

It is yet to take into consideration inferred data that are used by different ad tracking agencies and hence is yet to be covered by the GDPR.

A recent ruling by one of the top European courts says that inferred data must also be protected and hence can’t be used without the specific users’ permission.

If and when passed, the decision is stated to have a series of major impacts on the types of data processing being given the green signal in terms of profiling its target audiences.

Common areas that would be affected the most include online advertising, location, food preferences on airlines, dating applications, hospital visits, worship places, and more.

Before this ruling came into effect, the generalized view was related to firms processing data and put together all of the data and knowledge together regarding a certain someone so their profile would be made.

Moreover, any form of data that they made inferences from was theirs and they could use it according to their wish. But the new ruling claimed that wouldn’t be allowed.

The reason why it’s such a huge deal is related to the simple fact that it affects all ad-tracking firms as they’re known to make similar inferences like these most of the time. This way, they create personalized forms of ad tracking linked to these.

Let’s take a simple example into consideration. If a woman purchases maternity clothing, they’re going to be profiled as a person that’s pregnant, and hence those types of ads would be headed their way.

The same case goes for someone that enjoys watching cooking shows on YouTube. They’re going to be inferred as foodies and would be more likely bombarded with food and restaurant ads than anything else.

Next comes the topic of Apple’s tracking transparency which forces users to choose if they’d like to be tracked or not. Hence, if the court ruling calls the behavior illegal, then these citizens wouldn’t be allowed to provide data, even after opting in.


H/T: TC

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