A new report published by the non-profit Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has found that internet browsing data is being collected and sold in more granular detail than previously thought, including data on many influential and sensitive professions such as elected officials and military personnel. The report indicates the likelihood that individuals' identities can be ascertained from the anonymised information used in real-time (RTB) advertising increases, particularly where data sets are combined. The investigation shows that data brokers have grouped web users by traits such as their broad professional sector or interests, inferred from their browsing history. This anonymised information is then sold to advertisers to target specific categories or segments with personalised marketing. Privacy campaigners argue that this could be used for surveillance or exploited by hostile actors.
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