For event agencies, marketing/HR and the public sector

The plug should be pulled on US data vacuum cleaners on websites

How authorities can become data thieves

Data vacuum cleaner on government websites

Recently, we have been increasingly reporting on the highly questionable practice of using YouTube, Facebook and the like as a platform for live streams and videos. If profit-oriented companies participating in economic life do this, it is their free decision. It's their own fault, because at some point they will realize that they are being marketing kamikaze. Find out why here: 

It is different with a public authority. The taxpayer finances the state and has a right to exemplary application of the law. This also includes visiting a government website. What happens when you visit a website with integrated services such as videos or live streams? Let's switch to the real world:

Imagine you visit your tax office and you are completely scanned at the gate, all your data is recorded and stored. A camera records your general condition, your clothing and your voice. The algorithm determines, among other things, that you could use new shoes and glasses and the tax office sells this information to the companies that bid the most for this information. This deal is garnished with information about your net income so that the bidders can make you an offer that suits your wallet.


And it is almost the same with every visit to a website with embedded services such as YouTube or Vimeo videos (you don't even have to start the player), the US companies receive the IP address of the user every time.

 And this IP address can be assigned:

  • Rough location
  • Detailed location
  • Contact information
  • physical address
  • E-mail address
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Search history
  • Browsing history
  • Identifiers
  • User ID
  • Device ID
  • Usage data
  • Product interaction
  • Advertising data

No data to tax-avoiding big tech companies

Even if users agree to their data being passed on, they do not realize that their digital usage profile is being refined each time, which increases the value of this data set enormously. The data is stored forever and monetized on an ongoing basis. YouTube was able to generate around 21 billion dollars in 2021.

Cookie banner - the great deception

If visitors reject the transfer of data via cookie banners, the IP address has already been transmitted. A refusal comes too late. The cookie banner is pointless, on the contrary, it pretends legal certainty where there is none.

No data to tax-avoiding big tech companies

As a market participant in the EU, I must point out that the pockets of Alphabet & Co. are continually being lined here, and the personal interests of viewers, such as the political interests of individuals, are being passed on to these corporations, which are not charitable organizations but commercial enterprises.

Streaming is only free because the data is used to "pay" for it, leaving a profit that is not taxed in Germany, but rather in the EU in a low-tax country. (Tax savings model via Ireland, NL - keyword "DoubleDutchIrishSandwich") It is also worrying that US companies and therefore also secret services gain access to information such as the political interests of these users (the ECJ has classified the USA as an unsafe third country in its "privacy shield" agreement because security authorities can easily access the data of these users).

data records of EU citizens). Political orientation is certainly one of the more sensitive aspects of the personality profile.

After all, anyone who frequently watches videos relating to party X also seems to lean politically towards party X. Facebook can sell this data to party Y or Z at any time. An authority would then have helped to classify the German electorate. Does the secrecy of the ballot no longer apply? Can and should that be the case?

Data from children and young people as bycatch

And then there is the digital data bycatch: the data of children and young people under the age of 16, who are not allowed to consent to the transfer of data due to a lack of legal capacity, are also gladly taken, stored and processed. This is certainly a violation of the GDPR, which must be observed by the authorities. However, they are exempt from fines of up to 4% of turnover. However, not having to pay does not mean having to encourage this unspeakable practice of unbridled data theft. US providers have no place on government websites.

My conclusion:

I strongly recommend switching to Video.Taxi. The data remains the property of our customers, we do not resell or otherwise monetize user data.

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