Daily Dashboard

Working Party Clarifies Online Ad Rules

BEHAVIORAL TARGETING—EU

June 25, 2010

The Article 29 Working Party has released its opinion clarifying the way EU rules apply to online behavioral advertising. According to the European Data Protection Authorities' opinion, when online behavioral advertising providers use cookies, they are bound by the new EU ePrivacy Directive, which "introduces the obligation for informed consent of users before tracking devices such as cookies are installed on users' computers." The opinion calls for "simple and effective mechanisms for users to affirmatively give their consent for online behavioral advertising." Future of Privacy Forum Director Jules Polonetsky, CIPP, told the Daily Dashboard that in some ways the opinion was not a surprise as the Article 29 Working Party has previously indicated that behavioral profiles "are personal information and, therefore, require a specific opt in." However, he said, the opinion does "leave the window open...for companies to develop innovative ways" to inform users and obtain consent. Polonetsky added, "It is also interesting to note that they focused on behavioral ads across multiple Web sites, reserving judgment on first-party behavioral ads."
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