New guidelines on behavioural targeting released.

As I had previously written a number of posts about Phorm I felt I had no choice but to revisit the topic of behavioural targeting in light of the announcement today on Brand Republic that the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has collaborated with key players in online behavioural advertising to launch the UK’s first self-regulatory guidelines to set good practice for companies that collect and use data for online behavioural advertising purposes.

The article goes on to explain that advertisers have aspirations to talk to consumers on a ‘one-to-one’ basis. While I would actually welcome the possibility of relevant advertising being targeted at me, it is obvious from the furore that started around Phorm’s plans to target advertising at you on the basis of your online browsing habits that advertisers have a long way to go before the idea is readily accepted without opposition from the public.

Of particular interest is the fact that this news comes hot on the heels of similar measures being published in the US by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Many commentators regard this set of guidelines as a last attempt by the FTC to encourage self-regulation before statutary powers are drawn up.

FTC guidelines stress 4 principles that should be followed:

  1. Transparency and Consumer Control
  2. Reasonable Security
  3. Affirmative Express Consent for Material Changes
  4. Affirmative Express Consent for to Using Sensitive Data for Behavioral Advertising

Of course, given the reports length, at 48 pages long, much of the report will be subject to interpretation and implementation in a practicable way, within the technical environment, both existing and future.

In summary, this is a story that is like to continue to run…

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