Online advertising vs. protection of personal data: Contradiction or in harmony?

Which of your personal data is most important to you? Like most people, you’re probably thinking about your date of birth, address, phone number, email password, and credit card or bank account information. We want to prevent this data from falling into the wrong hands under any circumstances. That is why we only issue them carefully, to selected persons and for a specific purpose.

Data Transparency

With the implementation of the general data protection regulation (GDPR), data protection was suddenly on everyone’s lips. Anyone who collects personal data in any way, whether offline or online, must state what data is collected and for what purpose it is used. Medical practices, associations, bloggers or large companies are equally affected. It does not matter whether the data is used only for documentation or information, for statistical purposes or for advertising.


After data scandals like the one surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, many people wonder what data is actually collected about them and how much online companies actually know about them. If you reveal personal data online, this rarely involves the above-mentioned details such as telephone number or credit card data. The same applies here: If you give out such data, it is usually consciously and for a specific purpose, for example because you order something.

Am I being spied on?

But more data is collected when you browse the Internet. As soon as you visit a website and accept cookies, information about what you have viewed is stored. This is especially important for advertisers like us. Because we want to show you advertising that arouses your interest by drawing your attention to products that you like.
The important thing is: We don’t know who you are because the data is collected anonymously. We don’t even want to know who is sitting in front of the screen. We are interested in what you have looked at on the Internet and which products might be of interest to you.

Internet Datenschutz

ePrivacy Regulation: Threat to online marketing?

After the GDPR has already caused a great deal of unrest in the industry, the ePrivacy Regulation is already on the horizon, which could have far-reaching consequences for the advertising industry. In view of the new regulation, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB) has addressed the question of how people deal with their data on the Internet and, above all, how data is used in online marketing. These topics are explored in a series of videos, each of which deals with a specific question. This shows that consumers’ desire for privacy and the protection of their own data does not conflict with the use of data for advertising purposes.

What’s all the advertising needed for?

Be honest: Do you want to pay for the use of a website? We are used to the fact that online offers are free of charge and we want to keep it that way. But everyone who runs a blog or a website has to finance it. And the easiest way to do that is through advertising. Some have also tried a pay wall, but so far few Internet users are willing to pay for online content. However, if you want websites to continue to be accessible free of charge, you must also accept advertising – and thus also be prepared to be tracked via cookies. Because without advertising many online offers would not be realizable. And most users are well aware of this, as another IAB Europe video shows:

Data makes advertising more personal and therefore less disturbing

Online advertising is better if it suits your interests, isn’t it? But this is only possible if we know what you have already searched for online and what you are interested in. This is the basis for retargeting. A cookie stores information about which website or shop you have visited online and which products you have viewed. This is to assume that you were interested in the corresponding offer and similar products will be shown to you later to arouse your interest again.

In order to use a website, you must currently give your consent to cookies. However, the new ePrivacy regulation could severely restrict the use of cookies. Therefore, new ways must already be found to tailor advertising to the interests of the user without resorting to cookie tracking. There will be some developments here – irrespective of whether the ePrivacy Regulation enters into force as planned or not. Because (online) marketing is constantly changing.

All IAB videos and further information on this topic can be found at

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Yvonne Hansen
Yvonne Hansen
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