Digital advertising and marketing under the GDPR: what you need to know

  • Awareness
  • 15/02/2018
  • Greek Safer Internet Centre

The new GDPR is expected to bring a heavily impact how companies will reach out to consumers online, since they will now have to ask for explicit authorization to collect consumer data and use them for advertising purposes. The new regulation also requires companies to allow EU residents to view data collected about them and to update or remove such data from their corporate servers. At the same time, more stringent regulations on how to record network offenders will be addressed to online communication services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Gmail, as proposed by the EU executive department.

Companies should guarantee their clients conversations' confidentiality and ask for their permission before recording their internet activity in order to send them targeted messages based on their preferences.

For example, email services such as Gmail and Hotmail will not be able to scan their clients' messages to deliver targeted ads without each client's explicit permission.

The proposal also establishes the obligation of internet browsers to ask all users to choose if they allow sites to place cookies on their browsers when installing a program. All this means that it is up to users to decide whether to give their personal data to companies or not. Companies violating the rules will pay a fine up to 4% their global income.

However, until the new EU regulation is in place, and after its implementation, there are a few things everyone can to reduce (not disable) ads on Google and Facebook.

When signed into your Google Account:

  1. Go to "Ad Settings" here
  2. Click the slider next to "Ad Personalization"
  3. Click or press DISABLE
  4. This exception will apply to all your connected devices

When you are not signed into your Google account, but you are browsing websites and apps cooperating with Google to show ads:

  1. Go to "Ad Settings" here
  2. Click the slider next to "Personalize ads on the web"
  3. Click or press DISABLE

When you are not signed in to your Google account, but you are using Google search:

  1. Go to "Ad Settings" here
  2. Click the slider next to "Personalize Ads on Google Search"
  3. Click or press DISABLE

If you want to disable personalisation of Google ads for your browser (whether you're signed in to your Google Account or not), you can install a browser plugin. Learn how here.

The use of your personal data to show you targeted ads has been added lately to Facebook also. To make changes, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Facebook account
  2. Go to your account settings
  3. From Settings click on the left menu "Ads" (or click here)

You will see a page like the one below:

4. Select "Ad settings" to open the settings.

  • For the "Ads based on your use of sites and apps" option, click on the corresponding box to open and change to "No".
  • For the "Ads on apps and sites other than Facebook companies" option, click on the appropriate box to open and change to "No".
  • For the "Ads in conjunction with your social media actions" option, click on the appropriate box to open and change to "No".

You can find further information on the relevant leaflet of the Greek Safer Internet Center of FORTH.

Find out more about the Greek Safer Internet Centre on the Better internet for Kids (BIK) portal.


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