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New transparency and choice rules for Online Behavioural Advertising

21 November 2012

The Advertising Standards Authority today welcomes the announcement that we will be responsible for ensuring consumers are made aware of, and can exercise choice over, the collection and use of information for the purposes of Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA). We will start regulating the new rules when they come into effect on 4 February 2013.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the body responsible for writing the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing, has asked the ASA to regulate new rules that aim to secure transparency and control for consumers in the use of OBA.

OBA is a form of targeted advertising. Third parties, often referred to as ad networks or ad exchanges, partner with websites from whom they collect data on users’ web viewing behaviour, in order to deliver to them advertising that is more likely to be of interest.

The new rules will require third parties delivering ads to web users using OBA to make this clear to consumers. Most third parties are likely to choose to do this by displaying an interactive icon in the corner of the advertisement, which when clicked upon will provide further information about the practice. They must also allow consumers to exercise choice and control over receiving such ads by providing a tool through which they may opt out of having their web viewing behaviour data collected and used for OBA.

Read CAP’s full regulatory statement about our new responsibilities here (PDF).

Read the new rules here (PDF).

Access CAP’s advice Help Note here.

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