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07 May 2020

ICO Pauses Adtech Investigation

The Information Commissioner’s Office has announced that it is to pause its investigation into real time bidding and the adtech industry because of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement today, the ICO said its concerns around adtech remained but it did not intend to put undue pressure on the industry at this time.

An ICO spokesman said: “The ICO recently set out its regulatory approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we spoke about reassessing our priorities and resources.

“Taking this into account we have made the decision to pause our investigation into real time bidding and the adtech industry.

“It is not our intention to put undue pressure on any industry at this time but our concerns about adtech remain and we aim to restart our work in the coming months, when the time is right.”

The News Media Association and its members have been fully engaged with the ICO investigation.

In a blog post yesterday Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham set out six new priorities for her office in the coronavirus environment.

She said: “We are effectively managing and coordinating activity during the pandemic, supporting staff and managing our own response and recovery so that our infrastructure, planning, resources and people are in place to deliver the right work, at the right time, throughout the pandemic period and we are prepared for the future.

“While this means some ICO projects are being paused, we will still be maintaining our statutory functions, including dealing with complaints, and investigating data breach reports, as we set out previously.

“And we’ll be making decisions about how quickly, and when, those projects will resume when the post-pandemic economic landscape becomes clearer over the coming months.”