Towards transparency and privacy in the online advertising business

Project Purpose

Online advertising generated in 2013 $42B worth of revenue and more than 3.4 million direct and indirect jobs in Europe in 2012 alone. It supports some of the most important Internet services such as search, social media and user generated content sites. However, the lack of transparency regarding tracking techniques and the type of information companies collect about users is creating increasing concerns in society. Software tools for implementing total mitigation (e.g., ad blocker or cookies blocker) have been released to block any transfer of information from end users towards the online advertising ecosystem. A massive adoption of these tools by end users may cause disruptions in the digital economy by affecting the online advertising sector and leading to consequences such as losing of a large number of employments.

TYPES aims to cope with this challenge by defining, implementing, and validating in pre-market status a holistic framework of technologies and tools that should enable the end user:

To configure the privacy settings so that only the information allowed by the end-user is collected by online advertising platforms

To understand the flow of their information within the online advertising ecosystem and how it is being used

To detect episodes of information collection occurring without consent and identify the offender

To know the value of their data