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Microsoft’s Xandr Exposed: EU’s Most Heinous Privacy Breaches


EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft’s AdTech Arm Embroiled in Massive Data Scandal

In a bombshell development, a European privacy advocacy group, noyb, has filed a complaint against Microsoft’s adtech arm, Xandr, alleging that the company is engaged in a massive data privacy scandal that could have far-reaching consequences for individuals across the continent.

According to the complaint, Xandr has been collecting highly sensitive information about individuals, including data about their sex life, sexual orientation, religion, and political opinions, without their explicit consent. The company is accused of using this information to create profiles of individuals and sell them to advertisers, without providing them with the right to access or delete their personal data.

The complaint, which has been backed by noyb, alleges that Xandr is breaching several key provisions of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including Articles 5(1)(c) and (d); 12(2); 15, and 17. If the allegations are proven, Xandr could face fines of up to 4% of its parent company’s global annual turnover, which could amount to billions of dollars.

The complaint also raises serious questions about the accuracy of the data held by Xandr. According to noyb, the company’s database contains wildly inaccurate and contradictory information about individuals, including information about their age, income, and employment status.

"It’s hard to imagine how these data categories can be used for accurate ad targeting," said Massimiliano Gelmi, a data protection lawyer at noyb. "Instead, it seems that parts of the advertising industry don’t really care about providing advertisers with accurate information. Instead, the data set contains a chaotic variety of conflicting information. This can potentially benefit companies like Xandr as they can sell the same user as young and old to different business partners."

The complaint has sparked concerns about the impact of Xandr’s data collection practices on individuals and the wider advertising industry. "This is a major wake-up call for the adtech industry," said Gelmi. "Companies like Xandr are supposed to be collecting data to provide targeted advertising, not to create profiles of individuals that can be used for nefarious purposes."

Microsoft has been contacted for a response to the complaint, but has yet to comment.

The Scandal Deepens

The complaint against Xandr is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the adtech industry. In recent years, several major adtech companies have been accused of engaging in questionable data collection practices, including the use of hidden trackers and the collection of sensitive personal data without consent.

The scandal has sparked concerns about the impact of adtech on individuals and the wider advertising industry. "This is a major crisis for the adtech industry," said Gelmi. "Companies like Xandr are supposed to be providing targeted advertising, not creating profiles of individuals that can be used for nefarious purposes."

The complaint against Xandr is a major blow to the adtech industry, which has long been criticized for its lack of transparency and accountability. The scandal has sparked calls for greater regulation and oversight of the industry, as well as for greater transparency and accountability from companies like Xandr.

What’s Next?

The complaint against Xandr is likely to spark a major investigation into the company’s data collection practices. If the allegations are proven, Xandr could face significant fines and penalties, as well as reputational damage.

The scandal has also sparked concerns about the impact of adtech on individuals and the wider advertising industry. "This is a major wake-up call for the adtech industry," said Gelmi. "Companies like Xandr are supposed to be providing targeted advertising, not creating profiles of individuals that can be used for nefarious purposes."

The complaint against Xandr is a major blow to the adtech industry, which has long been criticized for its lack of transparency and accountability. The scandal has sparked calls for greater regulation and oversight of the industry, as well as for greater transparency and accountability from companies like Xandr.



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