New Ad Tech class action: Oracle and Salesforce taken to court in the Netherlands

1 min. read

Dutch Foundation The Privacy Collective has sued tech giants Oracle and Salesforce for their online advertising practices. In the Netherlands alone, these two companies are processing millions of people’s data in a manner that is not GDPR compliant. Panoptykon stands with The Privacy Collective in wanting this case to go to court so that the companies can be held accountable.

It’s a yet another piece of the puzzle in the battle against the harmful practices of the ad tech industry. In 2019 Panoptykon launched complaints against Google and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, joining a coalition of European NGOs which filed similar cases in 16 other EU jurisdictions.

Every time an internet user visits a website that features ‘behavioral’ advertisements, advertising technology companies like Oracle and Salesforce gather large amounts of detailed and sensitive personal data that describe each user. This data is compiled into profiles, which are being shared with advertisers, so their ads can reach very specific audiences. This process makes personal data available to large groups of organisations without protection or oversight, which conflicts with GDPR. In particular, this clashes with rules regarding obtaining valid consent, the appropriate transparency regarding data processing, the transfer of the data to the US and the general requirement of fair, necessary and proportionate processing.

A growing number of organisations, including Access Now, Bits of Freedom, Privacy First and MySociety are supporting The Privacy Collective’s action in holding Oracle and Salesforce accountable. The stakes are high: the Foundation has claimed damages of EUR500 per person from each company, amounting to a total claim of EUR 10 billion. If awarded, this could result in a huge hit to the profitability of this business practice.

For the case to be heard by the court in Amsterdam, The Privacy Collective needs to collect at least 10,000 supporters. By clicking on the “support” button on the organisation’s website you directly support access to the court. You can also read more via

With contribution from Janneke Slöetjes (Foundation The Privacy Collective)