BRUSSELS: Google’s privacy woes are set to increase after campaigners on Tuesday filed complaints to data protection regulators in France, Germany and seven other EU countries over the way it deals with data in online advertising.

The criticism mirrored a complaint filed by privacy-focused web browser Brave in Ireland and Britain which triggered an investigation by the Irish watchdog last month.

At issue is real-time bidding, a server-to-server buying process which uses automated software to match millions of ad requests each second from online publishers with real-time bids from advertisers.

The online ad industry, a money spinner for Google, Facebook and other online platforms and advertisers, is expected to grow to $273 billion this year according to research firm eMarketer.

“The real-time bidding advertising system may be broadcasting the personal data of users to hundreds or thousands of companies. This advertising method clearly breaches the EU’s data protection regulation (GDPR),” said Eva Simon, a legal expert at campaigning group Liberties which is coordinating the complaints.

The EU enacted the landmark GDPR a year ago which includes fines up to 4 percent of a company’s global turnover for violations.

“Real-time bidding is used Google and many other digital advertising technology companies. It is time for them to #StopSpyingOnUs,” Liberties said.

The other seven EU countries where the complaints were filed are Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares in Google parent Alphabet Inc closed 6 per cent down on Monday following reports that the US Justice Department may investigate Google for hampering competition.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s firm stance
Updated 05 Feb, 2023

IMF’s firm stance

Pakistan needs to complete the review to stave off a default as well as to unlock inflows from other multilateral and bilateral lenders.
Grotesque bigotry
05 Feb, 2023

Grotesque bigotry

FREEDOM to profess one’s faith is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. However, for the country’s Ahmadi...
Kashmir reflections
05 Feb, 2023

Kashmir reflections

ASIDE from Kashmir Day, which the nation is observing today as an official holiday, there are a number of other days...
Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...