YouTube's Latest Ad Blocker Detection

YouTube’s Latest Ad Blocker Detection Is Breaking EU Privacy Law

A complaint has been filed with the EU’s Independent regulator of data. They have accused YouTube of having failed to get explicit user permission for its ad blocker detection system. It could be potentially violating the ePrivacy Directive.

German Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer addressed Hanff’s claim on November 6. It has requested a legal position on whether ?protection of information stored on the device (Article 5(3) ePR) also covers information as to whether the user’s device hides or blocks certain page elements, or whether ad-blocking software is used on the device? and to understand if this sort of detection is ?absolutely necessary to provide a service such as YouTube.?YouTube began to roll out ad block detections in the European continent at the beginning of this year. It is now able to prevent many European users from gaining access to content in case their ad blocker is enabled. The latest policies of EU’s ePrivacy Directive call for online service providers to have full permission to ?gain access to information stored in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user.?

Hanff, who is an expert advisor to the European Data Protection Board, is alleging YouTube’s use of JavaScript-based detection scripts. It looks for particular HTML page elements that render users’ browsers to be subject to the requirement. He thinks it failing to follow the rules set.

He has claimed, ?The script that [YouTube] deploys is detecting what software people are running on their machines or what behavior their browser is exhibiting in relation to their private activities. It’s not okay. It’s illegal. We have a fundamental right to privacy under Article 7 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. We have a fundamental right to data protection under Article 8.? Hanff asked the DPC to ?take action against YouTube ? for this breach of the law and demand YouTube cease their unlawful deployment of adblocker detection tools.?

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