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Das Geschaeft mit sensiblen Daten Center for User Rights Pixabay
Freedom in the digital age
Art. 2

The business of sensitive data

Together with Global Witness, EDRi and Bits of Freedom, we are filing a complaint against LinkedIn with the EU Commission. The complaint is directed against personalized advertising that LinkedIn targets to users based on sensitive data. This violates the Digital Services Act and therefore the rights of internet users.

The GFF, together with the organizations Global Witness, EDRi and Bits of Freedom, filed a complaint against LinkedIn with the European Commission at the end of February. The aim of the complaint is for the Commission to enforce the ban on targeted advertising against digital companies laid down in Article 26 of the Digital Services Act (DSA). This prohibits platforms from displaying targeted advertising based on profiles containing sensitive personal data such as sexual orientation or political views.
Juergen Bering

Jürgen Bering

GFF lawyer and case coordinator

With 2024 being a super election year in the European Union, it is more important than ever to hold platforms accountable for their role in the political process.

The Digital Services Act came into full force in the European Union on February 17, 2024. The DSA is intended to protect the rights of internet users vis-à-vis platforms and make large digital companies particularly accountable. Article 26 DSA is an important achievement. Platforms have access to very intimate details about users' lives. The ban on using this data for commercial purposes protects users from discrimination and misuse of their data.

LinkedIn violation of Article 26 of the Digital Services Act

Article 26 of the DSA prohibits platforms from using sensitive data, such as the political views of their users, to create profiles of them and use them to display advertising. Even if the protection of sensitive data in the DSA could have been made even stronger, Art. 26 DSA represents an important first step towards more privacy online. Our research has shown that it is still possible for LinkedIn to target advertising to specific people based on sensitive data such as sexual orientation. Our complaint is intended to help eliminate this possibility.

Protecting fundamental rights online: Center for User Rights

The complaint against LinkedIn to the European Commission is part of the work of the Center for User Rights. With this project, we are fighting to ensure that platforms become more transparent and respect fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of information and academic freedom. The Center for User Rights is funded by Stiftung Mercator, Luminate and the Open Society Foundations. The project offers users concrete assistance in taking action against unlawful account blocking, restricted reach and deleted posts by the platforms. Further information can be found at:


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