Online Ad Association Fined for Privacy Violation
An association for online advertising companies, IAB Europe, was found to be in violation of European Union data laws, and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars. The association allegedly developed an ad-targeting tool that violated privacy laws and lead to a loss of control over citizen’s personal data. The Belgian Data Protection Authority (BE DPA) released a statement regarding the fine, stating that the harsh sanctions were necessary due to the nature of the tool, which allows online publishers and website to obtain users’ consent to process their personal data for targeted advertising. It was created to facilitate real-time bidding, in which advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis.
IAB Europe stated that the tool, called the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) is a voluntary standard that seeks to assist companies in the digital advertising ecosystem. The company asserted that the tool helps digital advertisers to comply with the EU data protection law rather than violating it. The Belgian data watchdog BE DPA imposed a fine of over $280,000 on IAB Europe and ordered the association to remedy the situation and confirm that it complied with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.