UK's first self-regulatory guidelines for online behavioural advertising will apply to companies collecting and using information to advertise online from 4 September 2009.

The IAB collaborated with key industry players and the Information Commissioner's Office to launch the Good Practice Principles, in a bid to increase consumer awareness about online behavioural advertising, which delivers advertising to groups of anonymous web users based on their previous internet activity. The Good Practice Principles supplement existing UK data protection laws by requiring those companies that sign up to comply with three core principles:  

  • Notice: companies collecting and using online data for behavioural advertising, including ad networks, technology companies and website publishers, must clearly inform consumers that data is being collected and used for behavioural advertising.  
  • Choice: companies must provide an "opt-out" for consumers who do not wish to receive behavioural advertising, and, where required by data protection law or specific regulatory guidance, seek consumer's consent to participate.  
  • Education: companies must make information about the use of data collected and how consumers can opt-out of such collection accessible and easy to understand.  

Since their launch in March 2009, the Good Practice Principles have been met with a positive reception within the advertising industry. Signatories to date include AOL, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.