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17 Jan 2022


French and German SMEs oppose tracking-based ads, survey finds

"French and German SMEs oppose tracking-based ads, survey finds", 17 January 2022

Around 75% of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) say the tracking-based advertisement used by Google and Facebook is undermining users’ privacy and human rights, a YouGov survey published on Monday (17 January) has found.

“The constant and invasive monitoring of our lives to target people with ads is unacceptable, annihilates our right to privacy, and fuels discrimination,” said Claudia Prettner, a legal and policy adviser at Amnesty International, which commissioned the survey alongside Global Witness, another NGO.

“These results show that business owners are extremely uncomfortable with the approach to tracking-based advertising that their customers currently experience,” she added.

However, businesses suffer from a lack of alternatives. 69% of the surveyed business owners said they had no other option but to advertise with Facebook and Google due to their dominance on the market, and 79% of respondents said that the two tech giants should face tougher regulation on their use of personal data.

The survey was published just ahead of an EU Parliament vote on the Digital Services Act (DSA), which is scheduled for this week.

The European Parliament is divided on how targeted advertising should be handled in the DSA, Europe’s flagship regulation to introduce transparency obligations and clear responsibilities in the digital sphere...

...Civil Society groups and business representatives have already tried to sway MEPs ahead of the vote in an open letter published last week.

The letter, signed by 17 civil society groups and 14 business CEOs, urged MEPs to support the amendments beyond the existing IMCO compromise to “rule out surveillance practices in digital advertising,” the letter reads...