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Can we measure the privacy component of online advertising?

On 29 January 2019, Robbert J. van Eijk will defend his Ph.D thesis, in which he investigates the online advertisements that seem to follow you.

The technology enabling these advertisements is called Real-Time Bidding (RTB). An RTB system is defined as a network of partners enabling big data applications within the organizational field of marketing. The system aims to improve sales by real-time data-driven marketing and personalized (behavioral) advertising.

Dataset of European news websites

Van Eijk combines Law and Data Science by applying network science algorithms to arrive at measuring the privacy component of RTB. From his research it transpires that the interconnection between partners in an RTB network is caused by the data flows of the companies themselves due to their specializations in ad-technology.

Furthermore, he shows that a Graph-Based Methodological Approach (GBMA) controls the situation of differences in consent implementations – such as cookie notices and cookiewalls – in European countries. The GBMA is tested on a dataset of national and regional European news websites.

Lecture by presidential privacy advisor Peter Swire

For the data science side, the presidential privacy advisor of the US Presidents Clinton and Obama, professor Peter Swire, will be a member of the opposition committee. Swire will also present a lecture on 29 January.

Van Eijk's Ph.D. thesis is part of the Law School's research programme 'Effective Protection of Fundamental Rights in a pluralist world'. Robbert van Eijk worked on this thesis with guidance from the Leiden University Dual PhD Centre.

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