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Personal Data Safety in the Era of Real-Time Bidding

What is OpenRTB and can it secure your personal data?

You visit your favorite website. What can go wrong?

But have you ever wondered what is happening on the other side?

An interesting fact is while the website is loading, hundreds of actions take place. Simply stated, the site puts on an auction for your attention. Here the big fight starts, where all the ad tech market players are involved. Everyone makes their bid. One of them wins. The technology that allows all these actions is called Real-Time Bidding (RTB).

Now for the fun part.

How did they get you? The answer is simple — they know more about you than your parents do. They get it from those guys who collect your personal data from most of the apps and sites you use daily*. Where you live, what you do, who you love. Personal data is being permanently bought and sold without your permission.

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“One visit to a website, prompting one auction among advertisers, can result in a person’s personal data being seen by hundreds of organisations, reliance on contractual agreements to protect how bid request data is shared, secured and deleted, does not seem appropriate given the type of personal data sharing and the number of intermediaries involved” UK Information Commissioner

Billions of bids and even more personal data shares are processed on a daily basis. And according to ICO, there is no way to guarantee that the user has given consent for, or even knows, that all of these advertisers have access to their information. But even that is not the main problem. Besides those who show you the ads, your data is seen by hundreds of invisible companies you’ve never even heard of. The bottom line is that anyone can access and use your personal data to their advantage. It’s like living in a home with no locks. You never know when someone’s gonna come in and sit on your grandma’s beloved sofa.

The world is evolving too rapidly. It needs new solutions, which are simple and effective.

OpenRTB is just too complicated for our time. PwC conducted for ISBA, the representative of British advertisers, a study on supply chain transparency. It confirmed that the existing system works inefficiently.

Users’ rights will be violated as long as OpenRTB is used.

But don’t worry too much.

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