OPC: Google Ads Violated Privacy Law
BEHAVIOURAL TARGETINGJanuary 17, 2014
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has said Google violated a Canadian citizen’s privacy rights when he was targeted with health-related advertisements. After a man searched the Internet for information on sleep apnea, he began receiving advertisements for devices related to the health disorder. In response to the OPC’s investigation and order, Google has said it will take steps to stop the privacy-intrusive advertisements. “We are pleased Google is acting to address this problem,” said Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier in a press release, adding, “It is inappropriate for this type of information to be used in online behavioural advertising.” Bernier, who, The Star reports, "is confident Google will force advertisers to respect consumers’ rights” following the probe, has said, “We will be contacting various advertising stakeholders in the near future to share these investigation results and remind them of their privacy obligations.” The Globe and Mail, meanwhile, is praising the OPC for showing "admirable persistence in investigating" the complaint.