Irish Daily Mail

Data protection inquiry into Google’s advertisin­g activity

- By Jamie Harris

A PROBE into how Google’s mammoth advertisin­g business handles personal data has been launched by the country’s Data Protection Commission.

The DPC acts as the multinatio­nal firm’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, and is investigat­ing whether the tech giant has breached the General Data Protection Regulation in the way it processes user data to provide personalis­ed online advertisin­g with Ad Exchange.

‘The purpose of the inquiry is to establish whether processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertisin­g transactio­n is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation,’ the DPC said in a statement.

‘The GDPR principles of transparen­cy and data minimisati­on, as well as Google’s retention practices, will also be examined.’

In response, a Google spokesman said: ‘We will engage fully with the DPC’s investigat­ion and welcome the opportunit­y for further clarificat­ion of Europe’s data protection rules for real-time bidding. Authorised buyers using our systems are subject to stringent policies and standards.’

It comes after a number of complaints were submitted to the DPC, including that of Johnny Ryan, from private web browser Brave, who last year criticised Google for ‘behavioura­l’ ads.

‘Every time a person visits a website and is shown a “behavioura­l” ad on a website, intimate personal data that describes each visitor, and what they are watching online, is broadcast to tens or hundreds of companies,’ Dr Ryan claimed.

The DPC has the power to fine companies up to 4% of their global annual turnover.

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