The GDPR Makes a Suicidal Charge for Data Protection

Protecting your data online is of great importance. Not only does your information have value, it is highly valuable to others. Can the GDPR project people from big data?

Posted by Joseph Christian on May 9th, 2018

Surveillance Advertising Sucks!

I doubt you know a single person who enjoys the fact that almost everything they do on the internet is being tracked by some major tech company so they can be bombarded by an endless stream of personalized ads.

GDPR tries to protect your data, but it's a tall order given what its up against.

That is why I would like to take a second and commend the European Union for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They made a valiant effort to protect personal data, but in the end, it will be a lot of work minimal results. In some way, it reminds me of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' a famous poem and real-life event where a bunch of British guys confused their orders, jumped on their horses and charged straight into a hail of cannon fire that shred them to bits. They certainly were brave, but they didn't really change anything.

At its core, the GDPR, which goes into effect on May 25, attempts to give consent back to you the user. Instead of just tracking you, websites must get your permission to do so. It might sound good, but it fails to address the fact that data tracking is how online giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon make billions and they are not going to give up collecting data on you because some European judge told them to do so. Instead, they will do exactly what you would expect, rally their lawyers and tech geniuses and blow the GDPR apart with salvo after salvo of legal papers, code and demands of those that use their products.

If You Control the Market, You Game the System

In late March, Google reacted to the GDPR by telling online content publishers that if they want to continue to use Google software like DoubleClick to sell ads they have to share any information they gather about uses with Google. This puts online content publishers in an impossible situation because many of them make the majority of their revenue selling ads through software like DoubleClick.

It’s funny to think about because while GDPR appears to give individuals a “choice” over whether their data is harvested from them, digital publishers are now effectively being coerced into giving Google all of their data. It seems no matter what regulations are passed, the internet big boys are going to find a way to continue to suck up information about everyone they can.

Google is defending this action within the legal wording of the GDPR itself by defining themselves as a “Controller”, meaning they consider themselves to be an “independent body that determines the purpose and means of processing personal data”. This effectively places all the responsibility for gaining ‘consent’, and liability for not properly doing so, on the publishers. All Google does is come in and say they are helping the publishers to ‘optimize their revenue’ through their ad software while all the time gathering our information. They essentially get all of the benefits without any of the risk.

Publishers aren’t excited about this prospect. Digital Content Next, a US trade association that represents big-time publishers had said there is, “no way in hell Google will be 'co-controller' across publishers’ sites”. Strong words, but it will be interesting to see what happens in a few weeks’ time.

A better way to monetize online contents is needed so stop targeted ads. (Source: pixabay.com)

New Ideas are Better than Suicidal Charges

The European Union has made its move against the tech giants flying its flags of ‘data protection’, but the giants are right where they want to be, in their forts with their cannons ready to fire.

Come May 25, the GDPR will make its charge—just like the poor blokes of the Light Brigade—only to be blown to bits. A recent article in Ad Age perfectly sums it all up, “The exact firms the EU wanted to punish [Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay] where...the ones with the lawyers and engineers to handle the changes.”

The only way to fix surveillance advertising is to take away the financial incentive to sell targeted ads.

To do that, you need to set up a new way to value and monetize online content.