Responding to ICO’s announcement today that the regulator is resuming invetigation of massive data breaches taking place in the online ad industry through “Real-Time Bidding”, ORG explain that this shows the ICO is wrong to have closed complaints by Jim Killock and Michael Veale against Adtech earlier this year. [1]

Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

“It makes no sense to close complaints, as if they are resolved, and then to carry on investigating the industry.

“By closing our complaint, the ICO is in effect avoiding their accountability duties to update complainants and resolve their complaints. If the ICO can act in this way, it makes the complaints process hollow. 

“By wrongfully closing our complaints, the ICO may believe that it has no timescale or need to bring these complaints to a close. We therefore will be continuing to press for resolution through the Tribunal. The case has already been fast-tracked to the Upper-Tribunal, given the importance of the issues involved. 

“The ICO has had two and a half years since our complaint. The ICO has resumed its policy of issuing threats to the industry, but has yet to make any meaningful enforcement action.”

Jim Killock and Michael Veale complained about the Adtech industry and “Real Time Bidding” to the UK’s ICO in September 2018. Johnny Ryan of the ICCL submitted a parallel complaint against Google about their Adtech system to the Irish Data Protection Authority. Dr Ryan, Dr Veale and Mr Killock are represented by Ravi Naik of AWO. Parallel complaints to the Belgian DPA are now advancing towards a decision. [2]



Jim Killock press@openrightsgroup.org

Notes to the editor


2 Complaints made to the Belgian Data Protection authority are now advancing to enforcement. https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/belgian-dpa-fires-a-warning-shot-at-adtech-whats-next/