Online behavioural advertising code released How do you want your cookies crumbled?
In brief: Industry coalition releases voluntary Guideline — Web users to have ability to opt out of OBA
In late March 2011, an Australian advertising industry coalition released its Australian Best Practice Guideline for Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA, also known as Interest Based Advertising).
What is Online Behavioural Advertising?
Often in website terms and conditions and privacy policies, the website provider alerts the web user that the website collects “cookies” from users during their visits to the website.
You will have noticed that when you are doing searches online or regularly using a news portal or Facebook, advertisements pop up that seem uncannily close to your interests. This is online behavioural advertising. This is where the history of the activity on a device is used to generate more targeted advertising.
Third Party OBA
The self-regulating Guideline covers “Third Party OBA”, which is when browsing behaviour is used to deliver behavioural advertisements across unrelated websites.
The Guideline sets out how the industry should balance advertiser and user interests when utilising Third Party OBA.
The seven principles of the Guideline
- Third parties should not combine OBA data with personal information (as it is defined under the Privacy Act)
- Provision of clear information to web users by both the third party collecting and using the OBA AND the website operator
- The user must have a choice over OBA and the opportunity to opt out and in some cases require explicit consent
- Requirement to keep the data secure: both browser safeguards and storage
- Careful handling of sensitive segmentation (such as advertising to children)
- Education of users of websites about OBA
- Being held accountable for adherence to the Guideline, including application and eligibility, compliance, validation and handling of consumer complaints
If you engage advertising agencies or purchase advertising on websites or content aggregators and require assistance with understanding how your business can comply with the Guideline, please do not hesitate to contact Swaab Attorneys.