Peer-to-peer advertising offers new opportunities for manipulation

Cookies and other tracking mechanisms are enabling advertisers to manipulate consumers in new ways. For $29, The Spinner will provide a seemingly innocent link containing an embedded cookie that will allow the buyer to deliver targeted content to their chosen recipient. The service advertises packages aimed at men seeking to influence their partners to initiate sex, people trying to encourage disliked colleagues to seek new jobs, and teens trying to get their parents to get a dog. However, packages aimed to get a friend or relative to quit smoking or to get a partner to propose have not found success. Two months after launch, 5,000 people had used the service. Marketing head Elliott Shefler notes that The Spinner's terms of service say EU and UK users are not permitted to use or be targeted by it, because of GDPR.
writer: Lou Stoppard
publication: Financial Times

What is Privacy International calling for?

People must know

People must be able to know what data is being generated by devices, the networks and platforms we use, and the infrastructure within which devices become embedded.  People should be able to know and ultimately determine the manner of processing.

Data should be protected

Data should be protected from access by persons who are not the user.

We should know all our data and profiles

Individuals need to have full insight into their profiles. This includes full access to derived, inferred and predicted data about them.

We may challenge consequential decisions

Individuals should be able to know about, understand, question and challenge consequential decisions that are made about them and their environment. This means that controllers too should have an insight into and control over this processing.