New advertising techniques – such as online behavioural advertising – require the trust and confidence of consumers, industry, regulators and policy-makers to be successful. Our digital economy depends on it. In March 2009, IAB UK launched its Good Practice Principles aimed at providing notice, choice and education for consumers. The Principles were complemented by a website where consumers could find out more about behavoural advertising, how privacy is protected and – if they wanted to – to turn it off. This week sees the launch of a pan-European initiative – building on the Good Practice Principles – aimed at enhancing transparency and consumer control for this technique. Read more on Enhanced Transparency and Consumer Control in Online Behavioural Advertising…
Here are five facts about online behavioural or interest based advertising:
Advertising helps fund a wide range of the content, services and applications online (often overlooked or not understood by policy makers and / or regulators). For example: search engines, helping us to navigate and explore a world of information online (and all at the click of a button), are advertising funded. Customised advertising (for example behavioural or interest based display advertising) seeks to make this more relevant to our interests, helping us to find what we are looking for.
People prefer this – particularly if it gives them the content and services they want at little or no cost. IAB research found that over half the online UK population would prefer to see more relevant online advertising and an even higher proportion would prefer this if it allows them to enjoy this for little or no cost.
The advertiser (or its contracted partner) does not know who you are or where you live. Interest based advertising is non-identifiable. If information collected is used with data that can identify you (eg registration data) the user is informed as required by strict data protection law. Good practice requires the provider to make the user aware of any data collection and use for this purpose and also make available ways for users to control this.
There is no commercially live business in the UK practising behavioural or interest based advertising via (what is known as) deep packet inspection techniques. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recently concluded that “in the case of behavioural advertising based on deep packet inspection techniques…the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) considers that active opt-in is required to indicate consent”.
You can also tailor privacy (and other) preferences via the web browser used to access the internet. Here are some helpful user tips.
Read more on Five facts about online behavioural or interest-based advertising…
So concluded the Office of Fair Trading’s market study into online targeted advertising and prices, published on 25 May. The 87 page report set out the OFT’s views on targeted advertising, including behavioural advertising, after a six month consultation with business, industry bodies (such as the IAB), consumer groups and other regulators, such as data protection authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, and communications regulator Ofcom. The IAB welcomed the market study and there was a fair amount of balanced national media coverage such as in the Independent and the Guardian.
Read more on "It is proportionate to focus on improving and supporting self-regulation"…
Last week departing New Media Age (NMA) journalist Susie Bearn issued a ‘call to action’ for more players within the digital media sector to sign up to the IAB’s Good Practice Principles on behavioural advertising to give the initiative even greater credibility.
Read more on Broader industry support needed for behavioural advertising…
There has been a fair amount of recent media coverage and comment about a report – “Creativity and Internet” – commissioned by the French Culture Minister which includes a proposal to levy the online advertising revenues of the likes of Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL. The aim of the levy is to raise money for the French creative industry. Whilst it’s not clear as to whether the French Government will seriously consider this proposal (although President Sarkozy has welcomed the report), Google has already publicly opposed the idea stating that it could “slow down innovation” and that it is “disproportionate.”
Read more on Why a tax on online advertising makes no sense…