On September 12, 2018, Johnny Ryan, Chief Policy and Industry Relations Officer at Brave Software, submitted a complaint to the Irish Data Protection Commission seeking to trigger, for the first time, an EU-wide investigation into online behavioral advertising (OBA). The complaint primarily focuses on real-time bidding (RTB), the process often used within the digital advertising industry to carry out OBA. The complaint alleges that (i) OpenRTB, the widely-used technical protocol for RTB promulgated by IAB Technology Laboratory, constitutes a ‘‘mass data broadcast mechanism’’ that violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), (ii) there are no technical measures or adequate controls to support data protection during the RTB process; and (iii) legitimate interest can never be a valid legal basis in the context of widely-broadcast RTB requests. (A companion complaint filed with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office contains virtually identical allegations.)

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