Data about every internet user is shared hundreds of times each day as companies bid for online advertising slots, a report suggests.
The study, by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), found that the average European user’s data is shared 376 times per day.
The figure rises to 747 times daily for US-based users, the report claims.
The revenue from digital adverts is what keeps most internet services free to use.
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The Biggest Data Breach: ICCL report on the scale of Real-Time Bidding data broadcasts in the U.S. and Europe
Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is $117+ billion industry that operates behind the scenes on websites and apps. It tracks what you are looking at, no matter how private or sensitive, and it records where you go. Every day it broadcasts this data about you to a host of companies continuously, enabling them to profile you.
This report presents the scale of this data breach for the first time.
- RTB is the biggest data breach ever recorded. It tracks and shares what people view online and their real-world location 178 Trillion times every year in U.S. & Europe.
- On average, a person in the U.S. has their online activity and location exposed 747 times every day by the RTB industry.
- 4,698 companies are allowed by Google to receive RTB data about people in the U.S.
- In Europe, RTB exposes people’s data 376 times a day.
- Google sends 19.6 million broadcasts about German Internet users’ online behaviour every minute that they are online.
- Europeans and U.S. Internet users’ private data is sent to firms across the globe, including to Russia and China, without any means of controlling what is then done with the data.
See the full report for more.