December 6, 2023

YouTube’s conflict on advert blockers is dealing with a authorized problem within the EU over Google’s use of JavaScript to find out when an advert blocker is in use.

YouTube has been more and more warning customers that they aren’t allowed to make use of advert blockers when visiting the positioning, even threatening to limit playback in the event that they do. The platform depends on JavaScript to find out the presence of an advert blocker, one thing which may be in opposition to the EU’s privateness legal guidelines.

In response to The Register, privateness advocate Alexander Hanff has lodged a criticism with the Irish Knowledge Safety Fee (DPC). The criticism alleges that YouTube’s use of JavaScript violates the legislation since Google doesn’t first ask the person if they comply with their browser being profiled.

“In early 2016 I wrote to the European Fee requesting a proper authorized clarification over the applying of Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) and whether or not or not consent can be required for all entry to or storage of knowledge on an finish person’s system which was not strictly mandatory,” Hanff informed The Register.

“Particularly whether or not the deployment of scripts or different applied sciences to detect an advert blocker would require consent (as it’s not strictly mandatory for the availability of the requested service and is solely for the pursuits of the writer). The European Fee despatched me a proper written response agreeing with my place that such actions would require consent.”

Hanff says the DPC agreed that YouTube’s actions may very well be a violation.

“In a name I had with the Irish DPC on the finish of final week (after submitting my criticism in opposition to YouTube), they didn’t disagree with my evaluation and agreed to succeed in out to YouTube (Alphabet),” Hanff mentioned. “I’ve since acquired one other replace that they’ve reached out to YouTube on Monday and can replace me on the finish of the week with any additional data.”

If Hanff’s criticism is profitable, it may considerably hinder YouTube’s efforts to fight advert blockers, a minimum of within the EU.