YouTube Could Be In Hot Water: Spyware-Like Ad Blocking Detection?

And even if you spend a lot of money on a YouTube Premium subscription, you still get ads.


An interesting situation has arisen on Reddit. A user subscribed to YouTube Premium to avoid receiving ads, but the picture he took openly displays TikTok, a Chinese state party surveillance tool, as an ad! The idea is to provide an uninterrupted experience on Alphabet’s video-sharing platform. In fact, there are no ads before or after videos, but third-party banners, search ads, and overlays can still appear. In addition, the uploader’s products will also appear as ads in the bottom left corner and in the video description.

“You may still see branding or promotions embedded in the content by the creator, as well as promotional links, shelves, and features in and around the content added or enabled by the creator. These links, shelves, and features could be for their website, merchandise, channel memberships, event tickets, or other related destinations that they promote,” the YouTube support page says. (We mentioned this in the previous paragraph.)

And The Register reports that Alexander Hanff has filed a complaint with the Irish police. He claims that YouTube is running illegal tracking scripts that help the platform identify ad blockers, meaning that EU citizens are being monitored by YouTube. Mr. Hanff has also filed a civil complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commission against YouTube’s browser query system, which is responsible for detecting ad blockers. The authorities have already asked Google to respond to the allegations against the video streaming platform.

“I consider YouTube’s script to be spyware – also known as surveillance technology – because it is deployed on my device without my knowledge or permission for the sole purpose of intercepting and monitoring my behavior (whether or not ads are loaded in my browser or blocked by an ad blocker). I chose the criminal complaint route because, historically, EU regulators have been absolutely terrible at enforcing the ePrivacy Directive – and I mean really bad, I would argue negligent. In addition, the Irish law I am using holds directors, managers or other officers who knowingly cause such a breach to be committed liable for the same breach and are not shielded by the legal entity they work for,” Hanff said.

His actions are legitimate.

Source: WCCFTech, WCCFTech

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