New book by Bernd Skiera and his team published in 2022

Photographer: Simon Fox (Deakin University, Australia)

They are a recurring element in our everyday life on the internet and everybody knows them: "cookies" and so-called "cookie banners". In this book, Bernd Skiera and his team examine the economic impact of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the online advertising industry. They are supported by the insights of the ERC Advanced Grant "Cookies" from the European Research Council. The target audience is anyone interested in learning how and why the online advertising industry benefits from using personal data, and how the GDPR impacts this practice.

Around the world, discussions are taking place and new laws adopted to strengthen the privacy of users on the internet. The restriction of user tracking, i.e. the recording and storage of personal data (e.g. individual browsing behavior), is usually an essential part of these laws. The online advertising industry in particular applies user tracking and the collected data to increase the relevance of advertisements, e.g. through the targeted display of advertisements (“targeting”). The restriction of user tracking specifically requires the online advertising industry to obtain explicit consent before processing personal data that enables user tracking. The practical implementation of this explicit user consent is complex and poses significant and previously unknown challenges for the online advertising industry, but also for users. In addition, the new data protection laws contain a whole range of other components that represent opportunities and obstacles for the online advertising industry as well as for users. In their book, Bernd Skiera and his co-authors illustrate these opportunities and obstacles and discuss the economic, technological and legal aspects of greater privacy on the internet, using the European General Data Protection Regulation as an example. The authors illustrate the practical implementation of the GDPR, as well as the consequences of obtaining or not obtaining explicit user consent. The consequence of a lack of explicit user consent is often referred to in the media as "the end of internet freedom".

The book is available as an interactive pdf (here), Kindle eBook (here), paperback (here), and as an online version (here).

Further information: Skiera, Bernd / Miller, Klaus / Jin, Yuxi / Kraft, Lennart / Laub, René / Schmitt, Julia (2022), "The Impact of the GDPR on the Online Advertising Market" (available via, and