Report: YouTube Accused of User 'Spying' via Ad Blockers

Anurag Paul

13th Nov'23
Report: YouTube Accused of User 'Spying' via Ad Blockers | OpenGrowth

A privacy consultant has alleged that YouTube infringed on the Irish computer misuse act by tracking down ad blockers installed in users’ devices.

It has been reported that YouTube may face legal charges from Europe, after being caught watching its own users. YouTube is owned by Alphabet and introduced restrictions that hinder the use of ad blockers thereby denying people with particular browser extension access to some videos. Privacy expert readying to sue Google alleging spaywear under Irish law. This is a reaction, as regards Google’s strategy of detecting ad blockers in their devices after they had filed a civil complaint in Ireland.

Recently, YouTube introduced a global policy against ad blockers and now all the users can choose either to see ads on the platform or subscribe to YouTube premium. Immediately after declaring the ban on ad blockers, YouTube increased the subscription fees for YouTube Premium in seven countries. According to the company, current subscribers will enjoy a three-month window before the new pricing begins.

What did Hanff say to The Register?

He told The Register that he thinks the script is only for following his activity on YouTube and not whether he allows the ads to pass through his browser without him knowing it or consenting. He called this way spyware.

The report further states that the consultant chose to file a criminal complaint against the firm claiming that the regulator has had difficulties in enforcing the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (PED) which became valid in 2002.

Hanff files a criminal complaint after filing a civil complaint with the Office of the Irish Data Protection Commission. The first complaint was aimed at the updated video streaming platform browser interrogation services. The report stated that Google has to respond to the commission concerning issues raised by the privacy consultant.

The Register reports that the National Police of Ireland has recognized the consultant’s complaint and demands further information. Hanff argues that the way that video streaming service’s browser interrogation system that uses tracking script, to detect ad blockers in browser is equal to spying on European citizens.

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Anurag has been writing content for over eight years, and he is dedicated to it and cannot see himself in any other industry. As a passionate writer, he is interested in business and entrepreneurship. An accomplished technologist and financial expert, he strives to empower others through entrepreneurship, leaving his comfort zone to explore entrepreneurship. Having worked in the Financial sector for more than five years as a full-timer, he also has a keen interest in Corporate Finance ...

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