Thursday, 2 July 2009

Industry Groups Agree on Strict Guidelines for Behavioral Targeting

ClickZ report that the Interactive Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with several other organizations, has unveiled its long-awaited principles for behavioral advertising. The principles call for all entities collecting and using data for behavioral targeting, including Web sites, to disclose the practice in a "clear, prominent, and conveniently located" manner both on their own sites and at the time of data collection.

That second notification might come in the form of a "uniform" icon or text link in the behaviorally-targeted ad themselves. Clicking on the icon or link would take users to information describing details of the behavioral ad practices, and allowing them to choose how or if their data can be collected or employed. Most likely, users will be taken to an industry-wide site or third-party site providing educational information, and data usage options associated with all parties involved in enabling the ads in question. Article in full at here.

The question remains as to whether self-regulation will provide the level of protection consumers really require. As I argue in a forthcoming book titled "Behavioural Digital Advertising" (2010), a more robust and educational approach is needed to "being digital" and participation in digital culture. Leaving behavioural advertisers to educate us and children about protecting our dataselves is not enough.

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.