ICCL report on data use by Google and other internet giants

Google and other internet giants are processing and passing people’s data billions of times per day via real-time-bidding (RTB) system for tracking and ad targeting, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) on Monday revealed.
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The report said Real-Time Bidding (RTB) operates on websites and apps. It tracks what you are looking at, no matter how private or sensitive, and it records where you go. It broadcasts this data about you to a host of companies continuously, enabling them to profile you.

Key insights

  • RTB is the biggest data breach ever recorded. It tracks and shares what people view online and their real-world location 294 billion times in the U.S. and 197 billion times in Europe every day.
  • On average, a person in the U.S. has their online activity and location exposed 747 times every day by the RTB industry.
  • In Europe, RTB exposes people’s data 376 times a day.
  • Europeans and U.S. Internet users’ private data is sent to firms across the globe, including to Russia and China, without any means of controlling what is then done with the data.
  • The RTB industry generated $117+ billion in the U.S. & Europe in 2021

RTB is the biggest data breach ever recorded. It tracks and shares what people view online and their real-world location 294 billion times in the US and 197 billion times in Europe every day.

Europeans and US Internet users’ private data is then sent to firms across the globe, including to Russia and China, without any means of controlling what is then done with the data. RTB industry generated $117+ billion in the US and Europe in 2021, ICCL said.

On average, a person in the US has their online activity and location exposed 747 times every day by the RTB industry.

In Europe, RTB exposes people’s data 376 times a day.

Collectively, the ICCL estimated that US Internet users’ online behavior and locations are tracked and shared 107 trillion times a year, while Europeans’ data is exposed 71 trillion times a year.

“The industry figures on which we rely do not include Facebook or Amazon RTB broadcasts, ICCL said in a news statement.

Google allows 4,698 companies to receive RTB data about people in the US, while Microsoft may send data to 1,647 companies.

Google is the biggest RTB company. It tracks and shares what people in the US and Europe do online and where they are at a vast scale.

Most advertising on websites and apps is placed using RTB. Advertisers spend $100 billion per year on RTB in the US and Europe. Google and Microsoft were yet to react to the ICCL report.

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