Online behavioural advertising
Online behavioural advertising

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Online behavioural advertising
  • What is behavioural advertising?
  • Terminology and contractual models
  • Technology behind behavioural advertising
  • GDPR and online behavioural advertising
  • General profiling and decision-making based on profiling
  • Solely automated decision-making, including profiling
  • Data protection impact assessments
  • PECR 2003
  • Interplay between PECR 2003 and the GDPR
  • more

This Practice Note analyses the following commercial and legal issues relating to online behavioural advertising (OBA), targeted advertising, profiling and automated decision-making:

  1. What is online behavioural advertising?

  2. Terminology and contractual models

  3. Technology behind behavioural advertising

  4. GDPR and online behavioural advertising

  5. General profiling and decision-making based on profiling

  6. Solely automated decision-making

  7. Data protection impact assessments

  8. PECR 2003

  9. Interplay between PECR 2003 and the GDPR

  10. Government and regulatory scrutiny of online behavioural advertising

  11. ePrivacy Regulation

  12. CAP Code

  13. EASA Code

Although many laws are relevant in this context, the primary consideration is data protection. This note addresses the position under the General Data Protection Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the GDPR) which became directly applicable and fully enforceable in all EU Member States on 25 May 2018.

The GDPR has had a significant impact on OBA due to stricter limitations on the processing of personal data and greatly increased fines for non–compliance. One study found that there had been a 22% drop in the number of cookies placed by news websites without the user’s consent since implementation. Advertising and marketing cookies specifically were down 14%.

For more information on the GDPR generally, see Practice Note: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

What is behavioural advertising?

Behavioural advertising is a form of targeted marketing in which advertising content is selectively delivered to online users based on a profile