Impossible Asks: Can the Transparency and Consent Framework Ever Authorise Real-Time Bidding After the Belgian DPA Decision?
Keywords:adtech, real-time bidding, data protection, online advertising, online tracking, data controllership, transparency and consent framework, rtb, behavioural advertising, gdpr
On 2 February 2022, the Belgian Data Protection Authority handed down a decision concerning IAB Europe and its Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), a system designed to facilitate compliance of real-time bidding (RTB), a widespread online advertising approach, with the GDPR. Here, we summarise and analyse this large, complex case. We argue that by characterising IAB Europe as a joint controller with RTB actors, this important decision gives DPAs an agreed-upon blueprint to deal with a structurally difficult enforcement challenge. Furthermore, under the DPA’s simple-looking remedial orders are deep technical and organisational tensions. We analyse these “impossible asks”, concluding that absent a fundamental change to RTB, IAB Europe will be unable to adapt the TCF to bring RTB into compliance with the decision.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Michael Veale, Midas Nouwens, Cristiana Santos
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