Posts Tagged: Privacy

Enhanced Transparency and Consumer Control in Online Behavioural Advertising

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…

Five things to look out for in digital media public policy in 2011


2011 will see our ever-growing appetite for all things digital continue to change and evolve the marketing landscape. As technology keeps pace to meet consumer demand, so the spotlight continues to shine brightly on regulatory and public policy issues, notably privacy. On one front 2011 will be a year of ‘delivery’. But – as ever with this sector – the New Year will introduce further challenges to digital advertising business models. Read more on Five things to look out for in digital media public policy in 2011…

Five facts about online behavioural or interest-based 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…

"It is proportionate to focus on improving and supporting self-regulation"

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”…

Broader industry support needed for behavioural advertising

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…

What’s in store for digital media regulation in 2010?

As the UK’s largest marketing platform in terms of advertising spend, 2010 will require an ongoing demonstration that as the internet continues to grow, it does so in a responsible way.

Read more on What’s in store for digital media regulation in 2010?…

A is for Advergame; B is for Banner…

Children today are growing up in a digital society. They will never know what it was like living in a world without the internet or mobile devices. They are digital savvy and their distinction between offline and online worlds increasingly blurs by the day. But being media savvy is not the same as being media literate.

Read more on A is for Advergame; B is for Banner……

Education, education, education (part three…and final)

I’ve banged the drum in previous weeks about the importance of consumer education about behavioural advertising, and the IAB’s recent research has highlighted the need for this.

Today the IAB has published a guide on behavioural advertising specifically for industry, our first step in helping educate the market about this practice (although you’ll be glad to know that this will be my last blog – for now – talking about education). The guide explains how behavioural advertising works, how it differs to other types of targeted advertising on the internet, its benefits to web publishers and advertisers, consumer attitudes as well as online privacy and industry good practice.

Read more on Education, education, education (part three…and final)…

Education, education, education (part two)

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of informing and educating consumers about the internet. This followed a revamp of the IAB’s website – – aimed at helping internet users understand online behavioural advertising, how it works and how to switch it off if they want to. Today the IAB, in partnership with business law firm Olswang, has published new research confirming that consumers need (and want) more information and education about online privacy and the practice of behavioural advertising.

Read more on Education, education, education (part two)…

Education, education, education (part one)

It’s official: us Brits love shopping online. According to research by price comparison service, Uswitch, 93% of the UK population now shop on the internet (I think that’s 93% of the 2,500 adults they surveyed!). And, as consumers continue to ‘connect’ so advertisers increasingly look to the internet as a platform to get their messages across and sell their wares. The two are mutually beneficial. Some of us just can’t get enough of all this (it’s empowering and addictive). For others the tide of change is uncomfortable and some need help getting connected in the first place (and there’s no one better than digital entrepreneur and Government Digital Inclusion Champion, Martha Lane Fox, to make this happen).

Read more on Education, education, education (part one)…