Bad news for advertisers and companies such as Google.
Canada’s privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has taken the lead In defining exactly what companies can and can’t do when it comes to tracking people online.
She wants anyone involved in online behavioural advertising to provide better information about their practices.
In particular, when using tracking technologies that can’t be turned off “PIPEDA requires meaningful consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
And as a best practice, organisations should “avoid tracking children and tracking on websites aimed at children”, she states, going on ,
“Any collection or use of an individual’s web browsing activity must be done with that person’s knowledge and consent.
“Therefore, if an individual is not able to decline the tracking and targeting using an opt-out mechanism because there is no viable possibility for them to exert control over the technology used, or if doing so renders a service unusable, then organizations should not be employing that type of technology for online behavioural advertising purposes. At present, this could include, for example, so-called zombie cookies super cookies and device fingerprinting. ”
“Online ad revenues has surpassed television advertising in Canada, and companies want to make sure their online ads are being seen by their target audience”, says the Vancouver Sun, adding,
“Tracking is possible because everything a person does online is recorded with tracking technologies, such as HTTP cookies, web beacons and deep packet inspection technology. These data-collection methods are typically invisible to online users, and Stoddart is concerned about the lack of visibility and meaningful consent.