This conference considered the way forward for regulation of the adtech sector and the wider digital advertising industry in the UK.
The conference also took place in the context of further regulatory developments, including:
- The ASA’s strategy for 2019-23, which includes goals on improving the regulation of online advertising;
- The CMA’s market study into the functioning of the digital advertising market; and
- The DCMS review into the regulation of digital advertising.
The agenda included discussion on current handling practices of personal and special category data throughout the digital advertising value chain - particularly focusing on data processing and data transfers between organisations that take place as part of the real-time bidding process for online ad placement.
Delegates considered industry practices and their compliance with GDPR stipulations - including in the areas of:
- The specified lawful bases for data processing;
- The completion of data protection impact assessments; and
- The management and tracking of user consent.
In the context of the ICO guidance on cookies, discussion also took place on the placement of non-essential cookies in the absence of explicit user consent, and potential conflicts with Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) requirements.
Discussion also took place on wider regulatory priorities across the digital advertising market - looking at areas where further regulatory intervention may be required.
Those attending considered the processes by which ads are targeted at particular users online - including the utilisation of biometric data and voice-recognition technology, as well as the generation and placement of machine-generated personalised advertising.
They also discussed concerns around content regulation, including the placement of advertising next to illegal or harmful content, ad fraud, and the suitability of ads served to children and vulnerable adults.
Further sessions on the agenda assessed the adtech industry’s response to regulatory concerns.
Discussion focused on developing improved data-handling, and achieving greater and more widespread industry compliance with GDPR and PECR - as well as mitigating the risks of data transfers in the real-time bidding process, and the way forward for developing and promulgating strong industry standards and best practice.
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