Campaign highlights illegal online advertisiing

I suspect many people, including me,  aren’t as clued up on how their personal data is used as they should be.

The idea that everyone should know what data is held about them and have a say in how it will be used is a very liberal one.

In fact, it was a liberal government in Estonia which brought in liberal information laws which ensure citizens have the right to see who has accessed the information about them that government holds.

Today is the third birthday of GDPR, which was supposed to give us all a much better say on how data about us is used.

But the Open Rights Group has teamed up with others across Europe to highlight the continuing problem with online advertising systems violating our privacy rights.

They explain what is going on in a video which suggests that our data is being shared with all sorts of third parties without our knowledge or consent.

They want the EU Parliament to pass the ePrivacy Regulations which would limit this.

I think it’s a really important issue to highlight. I’m still heartbroken that we don’t have MEPs in there fighting for change on these sorts of issues at EU level.

I get the sentiment behind the campaign, but I’ll confess that I am a little bit uncomfortable with the analogy to stalking. Anyone who has gone through the terror of being stalked in real life will be traumatised for life by their experience. Online tracking, while undesirable, is not, to my mind at least, in the same league.

I understand that the team at ORG which is driving this campaign is diverse and has a majority of women on it. I just wonder if they spoke to any charities who help victims of stalking before they developed the campaign.

That aside, though, it’s an issue that relatively few of us take as seriously as we should. The convenience of free online networking needs to be balanced with our rights to understand and consent to the way information about us is used.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Just asking……… is LDV going to cancel advertising on this site, (and presumably cookies that go with it) and how much does LDV get for allowing it ?

    PS I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t want an Hawaiian shirt of any description given the present climate in the Lothians, nor a £ 49 watch for seniors, or even another tartan scarf.

  • The campaign really needs to add some bite to get its message across, they could benefit from doing what Signal did to Facebook/WhatsApp

    The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you

    Because this campaign exposed the extent to which Facebook harvests your personal data to Instagram users, Facebook have blocked Signal from advertising on Facebook…

    Additionally, I note that the LibDems have been very quiet about the sale/sharing with third-parties of NHS GP patient medical records that the Government has commanded NHS Digital to do as from the 1st of July 2021. Patients have until the 23rd of June 2021 to opt out, ie. to have none of their data uploaded.

    The relevant form is linked to from this notice:
    General Practice Data for Planning and Research: NHS Digital Transparency Notice

    The direct link to the form that you need to complete and hand into your GP is Type 1 Opt out
    Puts the emphasis placed on being registered with a GP to get a CoViD19 vaccination into perspective…

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