Online advertising with behavioral analysis


This method of online advertising (behavioral advertizing) is based on monitoring the websites that a user visits on the Internet and the actions that he generally performs electronically (eg purchases of products and services) in order to capture his preferences and interests and then the promotion relevant ads only.

 The method presupposes behavior analysis of the user and leads to the creation user profiles during their web browsing, most of the time without the knowledge of the users themselves.

The issue of personal data protection during online advertising with behavioral analysis occupied the Working Group of no. 29, which issued the Opinion in this regard 2/2010:

  • The Opinion took into account the new trends of internet advertising and clarified in relation to the no. 1/2010 opinion on controllers their obligations in terms of their contribution to the specific processing. Advertising networks and advertisers themselves have the most responsibilities.
  • The Opinion focuses in particular on the legality of the installation Cookies to create a profile, which, according to the amended Directive 2002/58 / EC, requires the prior consent of the users. 
  • Knowledge also refers to the way in which advertising providers must comply with the obligations arising from the General Directive 95/46 / EC and in particular as regards access rights and objections. With regard to internet service providers, ie in this case the owners of the websites through which the advertising networks show their advertisements or the advertisers themselves, the Opinion argues that they are also partly responsible for processing in order to be obliged to inform about the processing. personal data carried by other parties.

The Working Group of no. 29 also issued the Opinion 16/2011 on their good practice recommendations EASA/IAB for online advertising with behavioral analysis.

  • EASA (European Advertising Standards Alliance) and IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe) had adopted good practice recommendations, in an effort to self-regulate advertising companies in the field of online advertising with behavioral analysis.
  • The Opinion welcomes in principle this initiative for self-regulation taken by EASA / IAB, but concludes that adherence to the code and good practice recommendations and participation in the initiative-related website does not result in compliance with Directive 2002/58 / EC.
  • In addition, the Opinion emphasizes that the code / recommendations and the website create the false impression that one may choose not to log in while browsing the internet. This misconception can be detrimental to users, but also to the companies themselves, as they may consider that by implementing the code they meet the requirements of the Directive.
  • The Opinion also states that advertising companies should comply with the exact requirements of the Directive, while listing practical solutions that are available to achieve a good level of compliance with it, without adversely affecting the user experience while navigating.
  • Finally, the Opinion emphasizes that cases / situations in which companies invest in adhering to a code and the corresponding good practice recommendations, which do not comply with legal requirements, should be avoided, both at European and national level. It is also worth noting that the IAB recently issued self-certification criteria for companies wishing to adopt the Behavioral Advertising Framework (IAB Europe Online Behavioral Advertising Framework).