BT has been watching you…


News from BBC.

The online advertising industry has launched a set of guidelines for a genre of adverts that have been causing controversy.

The code of practice drawn up by the Internet Advertising Bureau looks specifically at behavioural advertising.

This form of advertising delivers ads based on people’s browsing activity and is therefore far more targeted, i.e. it has a look at your browsing history and rolls out ads based on what it sees.

BT in the UK is planning to roll out more of these ads now, and has committed to adhering to guidelines as described below.

The guidelines which have been signed by key players including Phorm, AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo agree on three core commitments:

  • Notice. A company collecting and using online information for behavioural advertising must clearly inform a consumer that data is being collected for this purpose
  • Consent. A company collecting and using online data for behavioural advertising must provide a mechanism for users to decline behavioural advertising and where applicable seek a consumer’s consent.
  • Education. A company collecting and using online data for behavioural advertising must provide consumer with clear and simple information about their use of data for this purpose and how users can decline.

Super.  All seems fair enough.  But…


There is still the issue of Opt-In and privacy.  How has this been addressed so far?

“…The promise to make it easy for customers to opt out of such services will not go far enough for some who want to see all such services offered on an opt-in basis.

BT told the BBC that it is likely to offer its Webwise service, the technology devised by Phorm, on an opt-in basis.

It has not yet given a date for when the service will roll out but has completed several trials of the technology.

The first two of these trials created controversy because they were conducted without the consent of BT customers…”

(from BBC here)

Hummm.  Off to a good start so.  This is now a matter the European Commission is considering taking action on.  Inspires confidence all round.


One thought on “BT has been watching you…

  1. bununus says:

    And the UK Govt is probably monitoring this thread too!

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