Websites that use behavioural advertising with cookies are about to get a shake up regarding the rules.
The European e-Privacy directive which comes into force in late may has a section drawn up to protect users privacy and in particular limit how much a company or website can use data for any behavioural advertising.
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has setup a website to help users understand exactly what behavioural advertising is and how they can stop being tracked by cookies (if they choose to).
Behavioural advertising is where users are tracked across the websites they browse to create a profile that dictates the type of adverts they could see. Essentially this means adverts are more relevant to what the user may want to buy. For example if you do a lot of research into buying a new TV you should notice that a lot of adverts on other sites will start advertising TVs to you.
Users do have to understand that the data collected for behavioural advertising is anonymous, and if a website tracks login information and passwords with cookies then you will be informed about it.
What are the Problems with This Directive?
Many experts are explaining that governments are not ready to enforce this directive, as none of them have even drawn up any guidelines on how to do this.
Industry experts are also explaining that this e-Privacy directive will be detrimental to the web, cookies are used everyday on websites, to track how many visitors a site gets and to remember your login information.
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) have said that this new law “is potentially detrimental to consumers, business and the UK digital economy”.
Due to the new law users will have to confirm they do or don’t mind being tracked, this could mean lots of pop-ups appearing all over the web again. Nick Halstead said “Old versions of Internet Explorer used to warn you about cookies, but they stopped because people found it too annoying.”
The question many online businesses are asking is “Has this directive been pushed through after complaints from privacy campaigners?”