Google and Facebook Are Benefitting From GDPR

Nick Kostov and Sam Schechner, Wall Street Journal (Twitter redirect):

The reason: the Alphabet Inc. ad giant is gathering individuals’ consent for targeted advertising at far higher rates than many competing online-ad services, early data show. That means the new law, the General Data Protection Regulation, is reinforcing — at least initially — the strength of the biggest online-ad players, led by Google and Facebook Inc.

Hundreds of companies along the chain of automated bidding and selling of digital ads — from ad buyers to websites that show ads — have been scrambling to comply with the law while continuing to target people based on the personal information such as web-browsing histories, offline purchases or demographic details.

Given the option, it’s trivial to choose whether to opt into tracking on smaller websites and from advertising companies you’ve never heard of. But it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll opt into the same from Google and Facebook because of how deeply-entrenched their products and, by extension, their tracking is across the web.

I don’t think the solution here is to roll back GDPR and make it easier for more companies to track people without their explicit consent.