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Industry Contributor 27 Jul 2019 - 2 min read

IAB urges real-time bidding review

By Paul McIntyre - Executive Editor

UK digital ad trade body the IAB says members should urgently review current practices following a report and ongoing investigation into real-time bidding by the Information Commissioner’s Office (Campaign).


Key points:

  • UK data watchdog warned last month that RTB breaking law
  • This month the ICO launched “targeted information-gathering activities related to the data supply chain and profiling aspects, the controls in place, and the DPIAs (data protection impact assessments) undertaken.”
  • Plans a further review or ‘industry sweep’ of the ad tech market around the end of this year
  • Says any processing of special category data (health, sexuality, ethnic background etc.) without explicit consent is unlawful
  • “Now is our chance to proactively improve the adtech industry and shape a sustainable future” – Jon Mew, IAB UK
  • "It is not possible to consent to a data breach. The IAB and Google should immediately fix their bid request specifications so that personal data are no longer broadcast." – Johnny Ryan, Brave


Broadcast of sensitive personal information in RTB is a data breach, according to the ICO. Coupled with demands for overt consent, these UK developments reflect myriad points from ACCC's big platforms inquiry. International regulators are colluding on policy – and the entire digital media ecosystem, globally and locally, must acknowledge that profound change is coming.

Listen to this week’s Mi3 podcast for industry’s reaction to the ACCC’s report – and what it means for local marketers, media owners, agencies and platforms.

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Paul McIntyre

Executive Editor

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