Google Limits Advertisers' Access To User Data | Economy

Data is the new oil in the digital economy and that information is key in specific advertising campaigns to reach users. Google, the most powerful firm on the Internet, now announces that it will introduce a change in the management of advertising that aims to limit access to context data in order to answer the questions raised by regulators.

The change was announced by Chetna Bindra, responsible for user privacy of the company. The new limitations will begin to apply within three months, in February 2020. Now, the Alphabet subsidiary allows advertising companies to know the categories of portals or applications that users can access, such as health, news, weather and music. This information serves to personalize the advertisements and prevents advertising from showing on portals or applications that do not conform to the brand. That is, the advertiser can identify the type of content where he wants to present the product.

The change, Brinda says, will help "avoid the risk" that any advertiser can "associate individual identifiers with Google's contextual content categories." In parallel, it will update the user's consent policy to adapt it to the new European privacy rules.

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The advertising that appears in the Google search engine represents Alphabet's main source of income. The firm ensures that its platform already includes “robust measures” to protect the privacy of users, such as requiring advertisers to obtain their prior consent to receive personalized advertisements. This change, he says, "is an additional step"

Google announced the change after the British Financial Times published an investigation that showed how some of the most popular health portals in the UK shared sensitive data, such as patient symptoms and medical diagnoses. DobleClick, its online advertising subsidiary, was the main recipient of this information that was later used in bidding processes.

“Trust is the basis of a healthy and sustainable advertising ecosystem,” concludes Google’s privacy officer, “that’s why we work to ensure that our policies and practices evolve to reflect changing expectations about how data is collected and used.” Advertisers, however, believe that this change can give Alphabet even more power.

“Trust is the basis of a healthy and sustainable advertising ecosystem,” concludes Google’s privacy officer, “that’s why we work to ensure that our policies and practices evolve to reflect changing expectations about how data is collected and used.” Advertisers, however, believe that this change can give Alphabet even more power.

Regulators in the US and Europe are investigating how Google uses users' personal information to preserve their dominance of the electronic advertising market, which is essentially distributed with Facebook. The change, therefore, would aim to demonstrate that it is taking steps to minimize the use of personal data and thus reduce regulatory risk.

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