• ICO resumes adtech investigation

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced it is to resume its investigation into the advertising technology, or adtech, sector after an eight-month suspension because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Its investigation into real-time bidding (RTB), the practice of buying and selling advertising inventory in instantaneous algorithmic auctions, began in 2019 in response to concerns over the implications of RTB, which is supported by the collection and trading of the personal data of internet users.

    These behind-the-scenes auctions are responsible for many of the adverts that people may perceive “follow” them round the internet, and the data collected to support

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  • Nine out of 10 UK card payments in 2020 were contactless

    Contactless payments accounted 88.6% of total card payments in 2020 as restrictions on contact-based payments drove people to the payment method, according to data from Barclaycard.

    Despite many shops closing for long periods during various lockdowns to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the total value of contactless payments increased by 7% in 2020 compared to 2019. For example, there was a 29% increase in the use of contactless in UK grocery stores.

    Contactless cards, which enable users to make payments by scanning a reader when checking out, were first introduced in 2007 with a £10 spending limit. This limit has

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