RTB – Little known tracking that’s selling your privacy

Friday 10 June, 2022

What is RTB? 

RTB stands for Real Time Bidding and is, essentially, a massive privacy and data breach on a global scale. Your data is harvested from every website you visit and every online activity you conduct, which allows organisations to learn your online behaviour traits and location. 

That personal information, some of which could also be sensitive information, is then sold on for advertising purposes in real time. Disturbingly, once your private data has been sold on, there is no way for its use to be restricted or indeed stopped. 

Who buys the data?

It is known, for instance, that this information has been sold on to organisations in countries such as Russia and China, along with some Government State Agencies which can use the data to track people of interest. 

In a recent report carried out by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), they uncovered the sheer magnitude of the RTB industry, and the figures are jaw dropping!

Here are some of those headline figures:

  • 178 Trillion – Online user’s locations and behaviours tracked and then shared across US and Europe in a single year
  • 73 Billion – The number of broadcasts Google alone makes PER DAY across US and Europe about what people are looking at and where they are located 
  • Google & Microsoft – Two of biggest RTB organisations 
  • $117+ Billion – The revenue generated by the RTB market per year

These figures alone graphically highlight the reason why online organisations such as Google and Microsoft do not want you to understand how to protect your online privacy. 

With the digital world growing to be an ever-bigger player in today’s society, it is becoming more and more important that everyone understands how to protect their private data and personal information. 

There is a huge amount of online browsing that is conducted on mobile phones, which are equally susceptible to the RTB industry, as with desktop and laptop computers. Most Android and Apple mobile phones will not offer you the protection you need. 

This report, although scary, does highlight the size of the data breach problems on a global scale. It also further adds to the argument that ensuring you take as many precautions as you can to protect your online privacy remains. 

To read the full report and review the finer details of the ICCL’s analysis

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