The case involved Internet user Ms. Zhu Ye, who claimed her privacy rights were violated after seeing repeated advertisements on weight loss, abortion and breast implants after using Baidu’s search engine previously to look up related information.
China still has no specific rules on cookies, and this case, because of the lack of common law, will not be binding on later courts, which may leave companies uncertain about whether their cookie policies will hold up in court. However the case demonstrated that:
- Privacy policies are essential for companies and cookies should be thoroughly explained to ensure consumers are clearly informed
- A website policy should be prominent and easy to find. A link at the bottom of the page will suffice.
This judgment should allow those using targeted advertising to have more confidence that using cookies in such a way will be compliant with Chinese law but, unfortunately, because of the fact that this judgment does not bind future cases, many questions remain unanswered.