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The MadTech Podcast: Anti-Trust, IDs, and the ICO

ExchangeWire's MadTech Podcast
Sep 13, 2019

On this episode of ExchangeWire’s MadTech Podcast, recorded live at DMEXCO 2019, ExchangeWire’s Rachel Smith and Lindsay Rowntree are joined by Joe Root, co-founder and CEO of Permutive, and Oliver Williams, commercial director at News UK, to discuss the latest news in ad tech and martech.

On this episode:

  • There is a growing list of antitrust probes by US government organisations into big tech companies, with virtually every division of Facebook, Google & YouTube, Amazon, and Apple under investigation. These are complemented by a range of similar investigations by European DPAs. Will we see the breakup of Google and Facebook? With upcoming privacy laws coming into force early next year, will the inconsistent scrutiny from numerous US government organisations (which mean that tech companies could be punished multiple times for the same offence) be of concern to ad tech?
  • Identity was a major topic of ATS London 2019, with consortiums and companies such as InfoSum/ID5/Digitrust claiming to have a system that allows for first party data to be passed through the RTB system in a compliant manner.
  • The ICO has urged ad tech companies to engage with them prior to the end of the six month time window stipulated in their Update Report on RTB. Companies using legitimate interest as a means for gathering data were highlighted in particular as needing to convey their views to the body. Speaking at ATS London, Ali Shah, head of technology policy stated, “I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that if we don’t see meaningful change [within the next four-month window], we’ll have to leverage our full powers of enforcement.” What points should ad tech be raising to the ICO to highlight the value the industry brings to consumers? Should those companies still using legitimate interest, and those which refuse to perform their obligations in terms of data control, despite clear warning, face the full force of the law, as these firms are compromising the rest of ad tech? Or does the interconnected nature of the industry mean that good players will also face backlash?