Real-time bidding (RTB) operates behind the scenes on websites and apps. It keeps track of what you are watching, no matter how private or sensitive it is, and records where you go.
Every day it continuously transmits this data about you to a myriad of companies, allowing them to profile you.
“RTB is the largest data breach ever recorded. It tracks and shares what people see online and their location in the real world 294 billion times in the US and 197 billion times in Europe every day,” said the Irish watchdog in his report.
The private data of European and US internet users is then sent to companies around the world, including Russia and China, with no means of controlling what is then done with the data.
“The RTB industry generated over $ 117 billion in the US and Europe in 2021,” the ICCL said.
Discover the stories of your interest
On average, a person in the United States sees their online business and location exposed 747 times a day by the bidding industry in real time.
In Europe, RTB exposes people’s data 376 times a day.
Overall, the ICCL has estimated that the online behavior and locations of US internet users are tracked and shared 107 trillion times a year, while Europeans’ data is exposed 71 trillion times a year.
However, the report stated that the figures presented for RTB broadcasts were a low estimate.
According to the report, Google allows 4,698 companies to receive RTB data on people in the United States, while Microsoft can send data to 1,647 companies.
“Google is the largest RTB company. It tracks and shares what people in the US and Europe are doing online and where they are on a massive scale,” notes the report.
The main concern is that ad tracking may expose personal data that can be used to identify women and people who are pregnant and / or seeking abortion services.
“Most of the advertising on websites and apps is placed via RTB. advertisers spend $ 100 billion annually on RTB in the US and Europe, “the report said.
Google and Microsoft had yet to react to the ICCL report.