Websites share your data with advertisers 100s of times per day
Users in America are subject to twice as many ads as European internet users.
By now, most of us know that online advertisers are sharks who like to harvest up as much user data as they possibly can. But new research shows that we have most likely underestimated just how many times websites share our data with advertisers every day.
Research from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) reveals that advertisers are accessing user data hundreds of times every day. For people in Europe, the average amount number of times websites share their data is around 376 times per day.
Americans’ data is shared nearly twice as much, with an average of around 747 reports every day. Advertisers are accessing user data through a process called real-time bidding, or RTB.
RTB is a process that activates every time a user loads up a new webpage. When you click on a new page, there is a short time when the page shares your data with advertisers. The advertisers then bid on that data for the right to share their ads with you.
This number can be a rough estimate of how many ads a person sees in a day. US internet users see an average of around 747 ads per day. Stricter laws in the EU mean that users there see about half as many.
Most advertisers will say that the data collected during these RTB transactions is “unidentifiable. But that’s not necessarily the case. With enough effort, this data, which includes things like IP address and location, can identify individuals pretty consistently.
We already knew that advertisers and middlemen, like Google, Amazon, and Meta, were gathering up and sharing our data as fast as they can. However, this report sheds a light on just how often RTB transactions occur and how many ads we see each day.
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