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IAB warns members over ICO Adtech Update Report

26 Jul 2019  |  David Pidgeon 
IAB warns members over ICO Adtech Update Report

The IAB has called for a review into real time bidding (RTB) among its members following the release of a recent Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) report into adtech which has questioned the legality of the fundamental processes underpinning the programmatic industry.

The industry body for UK digital advertising highlighted "key areas of concern" found in the Adtech Update Report, published by the ICO last month, particularly over RTB, data security and GDPR compliance.

The ICO has already made it clear it will take regulatory action if companies do not respond accordingly, including issuing dramatic fines.

The ad industry now has just months to address the points raised by the ICO report and make any necessary changes to the way it operates.

“It’s in all of our interests to take the ICO’s report seriously and review current RTB practice," said Jon Mew, CEO of IAB UK.

"While we at the IAB will be working closely with the ICO and our members to help inform the consultation, industry support is vital. Now is our chance to proactively improve the adtech industry and shape a sustainable future. Let’s not waste this opportunity.”

On 20 June, the ICO published a report setting out its views on adtech and the use of personal data. It noted that programmatic underpins online advertising and is a deeply complex issue, and therefore it will take a “measured and iterative approach” before undertaking a further industry review in six months’ time.

However, the ICO still stated it expects businesses operating in the programmatic supply chain to re-evaluate their practices and improve their compliance. No practical solutions were provided in the ICO report.

Over the following months, IAB UK will be working with the ICO and IAB Europe to review how the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) can best support companies’ compliance with UK law, as well as responding to other issues identified in the report.

However, the IAB is making it clear that it is incumbent on businesses themselves to take any necessary action now to ensure that they are meeting current standards.

The IAB has identifed three key things that companies need to do: review the legal bases relied on for data processing; read the ICO’s updated cookie guidance and ensure practices are in line; and ensure a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) has been carried out.

The IAB has offered further advice on its website.

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