The debate over behavioural targeting, profiling and interactive advertising is heating up in the European Union.Â We just spoke at a EU event on the topic.Â More later on that meeting (which featured Google, Microsoft, Nokia and others, all wearing their Brussels best).Â Google and others pointed to a new code on behavioural targeting created by the UK’s Interactive Ad Bureau, which they suggest is a model (and is designed to foreclose on real privacy safeguards).Â I will be writing about this code in the next post.Â But here’s what the chairman of the IAB UK, Richard Eyre, said about protecting privacy online and the Internet’s future [via Brand Republic.Â March 31, 2009]. Excerpts:
Richard Eyre, chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau, has said he accepts the European Union’s decision to investigate behavioural targeting as “logical” but hopes that the current self-regulatory process “will satisfy everyone”.
Eyre was responding to the EU’s decision to investigate behavioural targeting by online advertisers, in a move that could result in legislation that overrides the code recently introduced by the IAB with the support of Ofcom and search giants Google and Microsoft…Eyre said that he understood that the EU had to have a point of view on the issue because behavioural targeting is a new tool about which the general public is still forming its opinion. However he hopes the self-regulatory code on behavioural targeting recently introduced by the IAB will satisfy everyone. Eyre said: “It is very easy to dismiss the issues as an invasion of privacy but the fact is that behavioural targeting is going to be the future of the internet.”Eyre told ISBA’s annual conference recently that behavioural targeting would be a “game-changer” for advertisers.
PS:Â As for Microsoft’s position on privacy, here’s an excerpt from a March 5, 2009 New Media Age story:Â “Zuzanna Gierlinska, head of Microsoft Media Network, said, “It’s better that regulation comes from within the market rather than from government, which might not be fully aware of how behavioural targeting works.”Â source:Â “Industry unites to defend trust in online advertising.” Â Suzanne Bearne.Â nma.co.uk
Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.
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