Will the OFT issue new rules regarding online targeted advertising?
In the context of the continuing growth of online shopping, information consumption and advertising, as well as recent changes in consumer law, the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") has launched an investigation into the ways in which the habits and personal information of web users are used to target internet advertising.
The OFT inquiry will look at a number of areas of online pricing and advertising including price comparison websites and the use of personal data in website advertising, but a particular focus will be the use of information on a consumer's online activity to target the internet advertising that they see. Targeted advertising has been seen as a potentially lucrative revenue scheme by companies who are looking to make use of web interactivity to learn more about a particular users' browsing habits and personal information in order to better target ads and products.
We wait to see whether the inquiry will bring in a new code of practice for this area.