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Pixalate Week in Review: July 4 - 8, 2022

Jul 8, 2022 12:30:00 PM

This week's review of ad fraud and privacy in the digital advertising space.

When It Comes To Protecting Privacy, Some VPN Apps Are More Virtual Than Others

Pixalate - Q1 2022 Privacy on VPN Apps Report

MediaPost cited Pixalate’s report discovering that 10% of virtual private networks (VPN) are transmitting user data, including location, to the advertising bid stream. Currently, there are more than 7,800 VPN apps in the Apple and Google app stores. Additionally, “Apple iPhone users utilizing the VPN apps are much more likely than Android users to have their personal data accessed.”

Texts and web searches about abortion have been used to prosecute women


In an article by the Washington Post, digital footprints such as texts and search histories have been used by law enforcement as evidence in prosecuting some women who have sought and gotten abortions. The article states, “despite mounting concerns that the intricate web of data collected by fertility apps, tech companies and data brokers might be used to prove a violation of abortion restrictions, in practice, police and prosecutors have turned to more easily accessible data — gleaned from text messages and search history on phones and computers.”

Four Things E-Commerce Businesses Need To Know About Mobile Ad Fraud


With mobile ad fraud growing rapidly, Forbes published a guide with four things to know for e-commerce businesses to better understand and protect themselves from fraudulent actors. Forbes said that mobile ad fraud could skew marketing metrics, get organic traffic “blacklisted,” hurt reputation and harm business. With businesses spending $288.1 billion on mobile advertising in Q1 2021, fraudsters have continued to grow their practices as well.

Study Shows 20% Drop in European Ad Fraud Over Prior Year in TAG Certified Channels


MarTech released the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) Fourth Annual European Fraud Benchmark Study showing a meaningful 20% year-over-year decline in ad fraud in TAG Certified Channels in the major European markets. The study also found that “the invalid traffic (IVT) rate in TAG Certified Channels in Europe declined from 0.69% in last year’s study to just 0.55% this year, while maintaining an impressive sub-1% IVT rate across all four years of the study."

How comprehensive privacy legislation can guard reproductive privacy


Brookings’ fellow Cameron F. Kerry wrote an opinion piece in support of the American Privacy and Data Protection Act (ADPPA) which would create concrete limits on more focused data collection, use, and sharing in place of the current free-for-all system, and provide rights to give individuals greater control over information that can be linked to them. Kerry says that the ADPPA is the best shot Congress has right now at passing any privacy legislation.

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