Americans have their sensitive online activity exposed over 700 times daily

William S. | May 24, 2022

Real-time bidding (RTB) is a process in which algorithms bid for ad space on a publisher's site on behalf of advertisers. RTB runs in the background on websites and apps and tracks what you look at, no matter how private or sensitive it is. As a result, your personal data is broadcasted daily to thousands of companies.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, Americans have their online activity and location exposed 747 times daily. On the other hand, Europeans have their data breached 376 times a day on average - almost twice less than the US figures.

The data is based on Irish Council for Civil Liberties report The Biggest Data Breach. The research reports on the scale of real-time bidding data broadcasts in the US and Europe for the first time. The data shows the number of broadcasts sent about a person, rather than the number of advertisements displayed to them.

A person in Colorado will have their online activity and location exposed 987 times every day. In 2021, the state’s governor signed the Colorado Privacy Act (the “CPA”), making Colorado the third state (after California and Virginia) to pass a comprehensive privacy law. The CPA, which goes into effect on July 1, 2023, should give Colorado residents more privacy online.

Michigan internet users have their personal data sent to companies 913 times daily. A person in Illinois has their online activity exposed 912 times a day. Similarly, sensitive information of internet users in North Carolina is shared with advertisers 911 times daily. Moreover, Washington-based user data is exposed 893 times every day.

Now looking at the states with the least data broadcasts sent about a person, the District of Columbia emerges at the top. D.C internet users will have their online activity shared with advertisers 486 times a day. Furthermore, a person in Mississippi has their private data exposed 493 times daily.

More privacy for Europeans

Due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in the EU, many European citizens have more control over their personal data. As statistics show, the country with the most significant average of data exposures in Europe still has less of them than the US state with the least amount of data broadcasts to advertisers.

A person in the United Kingdom will have their online activity and location exposed 462 times daily. Even after leaving the EU, the UK implemented its own variation of GDPR called UK-GDPR. The regulation, alongside the Data Protection Act of 2018, governs all processing of personal data from individuals living in the UK.

Polish internet users have their sensitive information shared with advertisers 431 times daily. Third are Spanish users, whose data is broadcasted to companies 426 times a day. A person in Malta will have their online activity exposed 421 times. Further on, Croatian-based user information is breached 407 times every day.

On the flip side, a person in Romania will have their data shared with advertisers the least amount of times in Europe - 149. Estonia is second to best, where users' sensitive information is exposed 184 times daily. At the same time, a person in Hungary is behind by just a bit, where his data will be broadcasted 185 times a day.

With each new data breach, customers are starting to realize that any time they disclose sensitive personal information to any company, that data may be exposed. As a result, people are increasingly demanding data privacy protection. Law enforcement is required to clamp down on data privacy violations.

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William S.

William S.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Focused on revealing the latest cybersecurity trends around the world.

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