In June 2019, the ICO identified a number of issues in the AdTech real-time bidding (RTB) sector.
They were concerned about the use of special category data and the lack of explicit consent for this and the use of contract clauses to share data widely. The industry was given 6 months to show improvement.
During this period, they worked with Google, the IAB and UK trade bodies to get a better understanding of the use of data.
In their blog update in December 2019, there were encouraging signs of progress but then Covid hit and the work became less of a priority.
The ICO has now restarted their look at the sector. They are looking at the promised changes by some companies to make the process compliant with data protection legislation but are still concerned that others still “have their heads firmly in the ground”.
A series of audits will take place and some companies will receive assessment notices. The role of data brokers will also be under scrutiny.
If you operate in this area, you should be looking at your use of personal data and ensure that you can justify this.