Bookmark: "Digital Profiling in the Online Gambling Industry"

Sebastian Greger


Wolfie Christl aka CrackedLabs is known for his meticulous investigations of surveillance adtech’s inner workings. This latest research report, on the dangers and perils related to behavioral advertising in the online gambling context, is no exception. Methodologically built around the analysis of one individual’s data trail and its exploitation, it is a chilling read, revealing just how much out of control, and lacking any kind of ethical foundation, the online tracking industry is:

This investigation lays out the scale and depth of behavioural surveillance and data practices used by online gambling operators. It provides extensive information about the scope of the data flows and the web of third-party companies that receive that data to build detailed and intimate profiles of individuals, often without their knowledge. Such profiles include indicators of personal vulnerability and addictive behaviours, which can then be used to target the most vulnerable.

With the full report counting up 61 pages plus 129 pages of technical details, the executive summary (PDF) is the easiest way in.

TechCrunch has an extensive discussion of the report and its implications for the adtech industry; in short: “nothing less than a reboot” is required

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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