UK Competition and Markets Authority to Investigate Digital Ad Industry

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is set to carry out an investigation into the world of adech. It comes after a new Information Commissioner’s Office report on the space outlined a number of concerns.

The ICO document looked at real-time bidding, and concluded that some elements of the practice may be in breach of British and European privacy laws. Tracking and profiling technologies were described as particularly problematic. 

The authors of the original document wrote: “(…) in RTB the privacy information provided often lacks clarity and does not give individuals an appropriate picture of what happens to their data. 

“Whilst we recognise that provision of this information in the online environment can be challenging, this does not mean that participants can ignore the requirements of PECR (‘clear and comprehensive information’) and the GDPR.”

The CMA will launch a three-pronged effort to better understand the sector, focusing on data use, competition and the power of platform providers. 

It will take comments from businesses, publishers, advertisers and other relevant parties until the end of this month.

The move comes as part of the government’s Digital Markets Strategy. Launched on 3rd July, it sees the UK attempt to balance digital innovation with the safety of consumers.

Policy efforts to introduce age verification to adult online platforms were set back again in recent weeks. The government’s ‘porn block’ has now been delayed on several occasions, inconveniencing solution providers and hookup services alike.

Read more here.