Google has secret webpages that feed your personal data to advertisers
The evidence was submitted to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the main watchdog over the company in the European Union, by Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer for privacy-focused browser maker Brave, according to a Financial Times report Wednesday. Ryan reportedly said he discovered that Google used a tracker containing web browsing information, location and other data and sent it to ad companies via webpages that “showed no content,” according to FT. This could allow companies buying ads to match a user’s Google profile and web activity to profiles from other companies, which is against Google’s own ad buying rules, according to the FT.
In response, Google says Wednesday it doesn’t serve “personalized ads or send bid requests to bidders without user consent.”
The process laid out by Ryan appears to be “cookie matching” or “cookie syncing,” which is a common practice in ad tech to match ads across multiple sites based on a user’s browsing history. A Google developer page on cookie matching explains the process and the privacy principles the search engine follows such as not allowing the info to be harvested by multiple companies.
Theafter it received a complaint from Brave that Google was allegedly violating the EU’s .