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OFT targets web abuse of customer data

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The Office of Fair Trading has called for a clampdown on online retailers who gather data on potential customers’ web activities and use it to target them with advertising and to determine the price charged for goods.

 

Online behavioural advertising typically uses information collected through “cookies”, files which are placed on a user’s computer after their first visit to the website. Companies might use data collected on a person’s location, likely income, buying preferences or age to offer them prices that differ to those offered to other customers.

 

Following an investigation into online behavioural advertising and targeted pricing practices, the regulator said there was growing concern among web users about how private data is made public and the possibility of misuse of personal information.

 

The OFT has asked the International Advertising Bureau, the trade association for online advertising, to work with the industry to ensure that clear notices appear alongside behavioural adverts and that consumers are given information about opting out.

 

More:

 

OFT targets web abuse of customer data - Times Online


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