2 min

The Dutch data and privacy authority (AP) urges Dutch websites to stop using IAB Europe’s ad system immediately. The system is estimated to be used by 80 percent of all European apps and websites. According to the AP, the system violates the GDPR and illegaly auctions personal data to advertisers.

IAB Europe’s systems track internet user behaviour. To do so, the system asks permission through a pop-up when a user visits a website. The data collected is auctioned off to advertisers. According to FD (Dutch newspaper), about 80 percent of European websites and applications use the system.

The Dutch data authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens) has publicly claimed that IAB Europe’s system violates the GDPR. According to the regulator, IAB Europe’s ad system illegally processes personal information. The authority advises websites to immediately stop using the system and move to alternatives, such as publishing ads based on a site’s target audience instead of actual users.

Belgian privacy authority takes initiative

The advice of the Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP) is a development of a recent decision by the Belgian privacy authority (GBA). The GBA was the first European regulator to rule that IAB Europe’s advertising system violates the GDPR. The personal data that IAB Europe processes was found to be traceable to individuals through a link with one of IAB Europe’s own cookies.

The Belgian GBA slapped IAB Europe with a fine of 250,000 euros. The organization was given two months to adjust its systems to comply with the GDPR. The Dutch AP urges companies to stop using the system entirely.

IAB Europe response

In response, IAB Europe indicates that it does not agree with the ruling of the Belgian authority. IAB Europa has yet to respond to the claim from the Dutch AP. The organization says it will adjust its systems within six months. According to IAB Europe, there are no alternative systems. The organization claims that smaller publishers and websites suffer the most from further regulation.

FD (Dutch newspaper) states that large advertisers are preparing for large fines and damage claims. According to legal experts cited by FD, those that have earned the most money from IAB Europe’s system are those that should be the most concerned about possible claims.

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