Home ยป Privacy Advocate Accuses YouTube of Potential EU Privacy Law Violation by Blocking Ad Blockers

Privacy Advocate Accuses YouTube of Potential EU Privacy Law Violation by Blocking Ad Blockers

Alexander Hanff, a privacy advocate, has submitted a request to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) to investigate whether YouTube’s video blocking feature violates the European Union’s data protection laws. Hanff’s complaint alleges that under EU data protection laws, online service providers are required to display a consent message when accessing user data on their devices. In the case of YouTube, it was found that there is a script embedded to check if ad-blocking software is being used by the user’s browser, which Hanff believes is a data infringement and non-compliance with the law. He argues that this should be regulated similarly to cookie consent requests. Meanwhile, YouTube’s representative explained to WIRED that ads support creators and allow users to access desired content on the platform, and the use of ad-blocking software contradicts the terms of service. The Irish DPC has not yet commented on this complaint, but Hanff confirmed that the case will be thoroughly investigated.

TLDR: Privacy advocate Alexander Hanff has lodged a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commission, questioning whether YouTube’s video blocking practice complies with EU data protection laws. Hanff alleges that the embedded script used to detect ad-blocking software violates data protection laws and should be subjected to similar controls as cookie consent requests. YouTube argues that ads support creators and enable users to access desired content, making ad-blocking software contradictory to their terms of service. The complaint is currently under investigation by the DPC.

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