Privacy organisation Open Rights Group (ORG) has launched legal action against the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for failing to stop illegal practices by the digital advertising technology (AdTech) sector.
The ORG made an original complaint to the privacy regulator in September 2018 about systematic GDPR breaches by the AdTech industry, focusing on the role of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) as rule setter. The ICO ended its investigation in June 2019, finding the AdTech sector to be in breach of the GDPR. Widepsread problems included collecting and sharing people’s browsing data without control over who can access this data.
Despite this finding of unlawful practices by the AdTech industry, the ICP closed its investigation in September 2020 without taking any substantive action, with enforcement also paused during the first Covid-19 lockdown. The ORG is now taking the ICO to court over its refusal to take substantive action against their own findings of widespread and serious illegal behaviour.