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  • Writer's pictureMarco Lam

Google suffered from huge fines because of the behaviour targeted advertising?

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Behaviour targeted advertising has caused Google to suffer huge fines?

Behaviour Targeting Advertising means merchants understand the behaviour of customers by the number of visits and browsing records, they grasp the needs and preferences of customers and then display advertisements that are similar to their preferences through the content matching settings.

In recent years, targeted advertising has become the main trend of digital advertising. Social platforms and browsers generally use cookies to collect users’ online behaviour data. Google is one of the large technology companies being involved, but its targeted advertisement is lacking transparency, information, and users’ authorization was not obtained. Therefore, when the GDRP was officially implemented, it was fined 50 million euros as soon as possible.

According to Article 5 of the GDPR, Personal Data shall be:

  1. processed with ‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency;

  2. collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;

  3. Comply with data minimization;

  4. accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay ;

  5. kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);

  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organizational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality).

Google distributes key information for personalized advertising such as the purpose of data processing, data storage period, and personal data classification on different pages. The information is not complete and not clear enough. Users need to perform 5-6 additional clicks to integrate them into a complete one.

In the processing of personalized advertisements, Google also disperses relevant information in different documents, so users cannot directly understand the extent of use, and there is a great lack of transparency.

In addition, when a user creates an account, he/she needs to click the "More Options" button to get to the configuration page, the display of personalized advertisements has been preset as the default state, users have no choice. Once the user selects the boxes of agreeing to the service is equivalent to agreeing to Google to perform all processing operations, which is unfair to the user and violates Article 13 of the GDPR, which requires a “specific” license for each purpose.

How to escape from web browsing tracking?

If you don’t want to be tracked by web browsing or cross-site tracking, you can choose to browse the web in the incognito mode of your browser without leaving any data and records (search history, web pages visited, login information, and cookies are not stored on the device).

Also, you can turn on the "Do Not Track" function on the Windows device. When browsing the web, you can ask the website not to collect or track your browsing and personal information.

However, it should be noted that the traffic in the incognito mode is not encrypted, which cannot protect browsing data and beware of hackers or network attacks, there is no guarantee that there will be no other people who want to monitor it in other ways.

Therefore, to protect privacy from being stolen by third parties, apart from using the incognito mode, a secure browser or VPN extension is also very important. For more information about VPN, please visit the StormEye website.

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