Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


TYPES Report Summary

Project ID: 653449
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TYPES (Towards transparencY and Privacy in the onlinE advertising businesS)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’s (PwC) latest Entertainment & Media Outlook, online advertising is poised to keep growing in the next years. PwC estimates that internet ad revenue could grow to $116.2 billion a year by 2021 in the United States alone, up from $86.4 billion in 2017. Software tools for implementing total mitigation (e.g., ad blocker or cookies blocker) have been released to block any transfer of information from end users towards the online advertising ecosystem. A massive adoption of these tools by end users may cause disruptions in the digital economy by affecting the online advertising sector and leading to consequences such as losing of a large number of employments.

TYPES aims to cope with this challenge by defining, implementing, and validating in pre-market status a holistic framework of technologies and tools that guarantees both transparency and privacy preservation, gives the end user control upon the amount of information he/she is willing to share, and defines privacy-by-design solutions. In particular, these tools should enable the end user:
i) to configure the privacy settings so that only the information allowed by the end-user is collected by online advertising platforms;
ii) to understand the flow of their information within the online advertising ecosystem and how it is being used;
iii) to detect episodes of information collection occurring without consent and identify the offender;
iv) to know the value of their data.

Innovation Potential:
The TYPES ecosystem can be divided in three main areas:
- Detection and safeguarding
- Data valuation
- Privacy by design solutions

To achieve this, there have been defined a clear set of demonstrators:
- Web-browser plug-in for privacy violation detection and safeguarding
- Proxy for privacy violation detection and safeguarding
- Data valuation tools
- Privacy preserving data broker

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

To achieve its ambitious goals, the TYPES project was planned over a period of 30 months. In this time frame, activities have been organised into three project phases. The first project phase was dedicated to the design of the technological solutions that have derived into exploitable software at the end of the project. The second phase of the project mixed Technological Innovation objectives, in which we aimed to release a software associated to each technological solution designed in the previous phase, and Impact-Exploitation objectives towards the design and interim evaluation (i.e., in lab environment) of the pilots required for the exploitation and commercialization plans. Finally, the last phase of the project has been fully dedicated to deliver close-to-the-market products and services in form of pre-production pilots that can be commercialized in the short term after the project finalization.
We have performed an intensive evaluation of TYPES privacy-preserving technology across the four concrete pilots based on the technological solutions implemented. The pilots have been designed and implemented into a lab environment using the Living Lab approach. This interim evaluation provided valuable feedback to the technical Work Packages and validated the release technological solutions. The final phase established the measure of the impact and commercial value of the TYPES solutions.
TYPES tools have been tested by a large set of real users, and the results obtained from these test, a final analysis of the expected short-term market impact has been done.
The final plans on exploitation and future commercialization of the various tools designed and developed within TYPES have been defined and presented with detail in D2.5. We remark that the business plans concluded are strongly linked with the testing and piloting derived from WP7.
An intensive dissemination activity has been implemented during the whole lifespan of the project that included talks in different forums: scientific, industrial, policy-makers, society, etc. In addition, some ideas developed in the TYPES project have been reported in important media – and this, of course, has been an important vehicle to bring TYPES to the society.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The ambition of TYPES has been to become a reference project in the Safeguarding Secure Society domain and to define, implement and release solutions that create awareness among Internet users regarding how their personal information is being used for advertising purposes and what is the value associated to that personal data, protect user’s privacy while empowering them to control how their data is used by service providers for advertising purposes. At the same time, TYPES pretended to make it easier to verify whether user’s online rights are respected and if personal data is exchanged for a reasonable value-added to users.
Consequently, from that integrated privacy preserving solutions line, the impact has been:
Social impact: Users can see their data they generate online treated at the required level of privacy and at the same time they gain increased control on their data by deciding what to share and with whom. In comparison with existing mitigation tools (“all-or-nothing” tools) that either do not control anything or eliminate tracking and ads totally, the tools implemented by TYPES let users define their privacy settings with offer higher granularity what can help them to still receive ads and offers of their interest but filtering any undesired leakage of information. Additionally, by making users aware of the economic value of their private information TYPES solutions enable users to make informed decision whether to give away their data and what level of compensation to require. These actions are targeted at making users re-gain trust online and stimulate a higher uptake of online services.
Industry impact: For Over the Top Service Providers (OTT SPs) lack of transparency and privacy is one of the main obstacles to uptake of online services. By adopting TYPES tools , OTT SPs (e.g., Google, Facebook, Yahoo) are able to differentiate themselves and gain users trust by showing transparency towards the users on how their data is treated. In this respect, the adoption of TYPES tools by OTT SPs can potentially bring them even more information to analyse since users will stop using “all-or-nothing” mitigation tools and instead use fine-grained privacy safeguarding with a controllable disclosure level that will feed that privacy preserving data broker solutions.
For Telecom operators:TYPE’s solutions will help them to cast themselves as better guardians of customer data (e.g. WIT). Privacy-oriented services delivered via application layer proxies can increase telecom operators’ reputation (and help differentiating them resulting in an increased market share) and revenues (if offered as an opt-in paid service or as a bundle into premium plans).
For European’s Commission strategy impact: An overwhelming majority of citizens says they avoid disclosing personal information online because of security concerns. The actual or perceived lack of security of digital technologies is putting at risk the European economy and society. TYPES has demonstrated technologies that can protect citizens’ assets (i.e., privacy) and thus provide prosperity through economic and societal growth.

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