USA: Senators' letter to FTC urges investigation into adtech industry data collection and selling practices
U.S. Senator, Ron Wyden, announced, on 31 July 2020, that he had sent, along with other U.S. Senators and Members of Congress, a letter ('the Letter') to the Federal Trade Commission ('FTC') urging it to investigate the practices of companies in the adtech industry. In particular, the Letter calls for the investigation of the adtech industry's selling of personal information through real-time bidding ('RTB'), in which personal information is collected without individuals' consent, including device identifiers and cookies or location data and IP addresses, and auctioned in order for individuals to then receive targeted advertising. In addition, the Letter notes that there is no effective way to control RTB infrastructure, individuals have not consented to be tracked and their information to be collected, and often technological roadblocks such as browser privacy settings or ad blockers are insufficient and circumvented by adtech companies. As such, the Letter urges the FTC to investigate the adtech industry practices and data brokers associated with such companies.