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The online advertising system is based on the collection and sharing of user data, in an opaquely competitive market which rests mostly in a few powerful hands, including Google. Privacy and data protection are at issue, and Europe is debating what action should be taken.
The measures adopted by some Balkan countries to contain the pandemic have raised perplexity in associations and researchers who deal with privacy and digital rights. Emergency actions, derogating from the national rules of law, could translate into mass surveillance tools.
Digital platforms often trick users into giving up their personal data or buying particular products. These “dark patterns” go against European legislation, but authorities are struggling to combat them.