Google’s Surveillance Advertising Model under Attack on Both Sides of the Atlantic for Its Deep Privacy Problems

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PIA blog has just written about a major problem for Google: a decision by the Austrian Data Protection Authority that the continuing use of Google Analytics violates the EU’s GDPR legislation. The post noted that the Dutch Data Protection Authority is also investigating the use of Google Analytics; now it seems that France may follow suit. Meanwhile, there’s been more bad news from Europe, with the European Parliament agreeing its text for the proposed Digital Services Act (DSA) that has a number of problems for Google (among others). This is not the final version of the DSA, which must be jointly agreed with the other key players in the EU legislative process, the European Commission and the European Council, but it defines the elements that the European Parliament will be pushing for in the so-called “trilogues” where a common legal text will be drawn up.

Previous posts on PIA blog have mentioned that there were attempts to bring in a DSA ban for all micro-targeted advertising based on surveillance. That has failed, but the European Parliament does want some limitations on the kind of data that can be used for ad targeting. Sensitive information relating to a person’s political and religious beliefs, as well as their sexual orientation would be excluded. In addition, the MEPs voted to impose a complete ban on using surveillance advertising to target young people online. There are other important requirements in this area:

the text provides for more transparent and informed choice for the recipients

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