GDPR Is Helping Google to Retain Advertising & Tracking Dominance

By now, most of the online world knows about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), put in place in May by the European Union. The goal was to protect the privacy of EU citizens online, regardless of whether the service they use originates in Europe or in any region in the world. That means GDPR is a de facto global law.

GDPR Is Helping Google to Retain Advertising & Tracking DominanceA major factor in the creation of GDPR was that Google just knows too much. The EU has fined the company £5 billion for violating anti-trust, after all. But guess who’s benefiting quite well from the implementation of GDPR?

Yep–Google. According to research by Cliqz and Ghostery (together, they jointly operate WhoTracks.me to provide information on tracking technologies online), the GDPR has done the most damage to smaller advertisers. Because, don’t forget, Google is first and foremost a provider of advertising–that’s how it makes most of its moolah.

While all advertisers use trackers of some sort to see what we’re up to, all the better to target advertising and generate more money, only Google has seen an increase in reach. (At least on the 2,000 top domains visited by European residents, which were analyzed for this report.) Even Facebook saw a 6.66 percent decrease. The top 50 advertisers overall (excluding Google and Facebook) saw a full 20 percent decrease.

But Google went up just shy of 1 percent. The measurements were taken by WhoTracks.me, comparing trackers on the market in April 2018 to those available in July 2018. Why did this happen? The report speculates that Google may have pressured sites to reduce the number of other trackers–but maybe sites just played it safe and got rid of any trackers that were might not have been compliant.

Or, maybe, just maybe, Google was so ready to comply that it was in a perfect position to see a gain. But as the report states unequivocally, “One thing is certain: Google benefits indirectly from the effects of the GDPR.”

GDPR Is Helping Google to Retain Advertising & Tracking Dominance

The report also shows that the effect of the GDPR on the number of trackers overall in the EU: They’re down 3.4 percent from April to July.

Over here in the United States of Advertising, though, trackers jumped up 8.29 percent in the same time.

For more, read the full report at Cliqz.


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