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New European standards for online behavioural advertising

The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) has published a new code of conduct to help the industry cope with new European regulations around adverts based on tracking browsing habits.

The guidelines provide for an industry-wide self-regulatory standard for online behavioural advertising (OBA) to ensure consumer privacy protection across Europe.

The guidelines are aimed at providing consumers with transparency about targeted advertising, protection for children and easier ways for consumers to complain if they feel their data has been misused.

The document proposes the identification of OBA ads using a uniform European-wide icon, which clicks through to a simple mechanism that provides consumers with full transparency, allowing them to opt out through a dedicated consumer website.

EASA says the guidelines incorporate and complement Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe's self-regulatory framework for OBA.

"EASA has worked with IAB Europe to deliver a Best Practice Recommendation that covers all parts of the advertising industry," the organisation said in a statement.

The final draft of the Best Practice Recommendation is to be rolled out over the next 12 months via national industry associations and self-regulatory organisations.

The official consumer website is scheduled to go live in March in at least 10 European languages, with a gradual roll-out of further languages later in the year.

EASA expects that 70% of all online behavioural advertising will carry the icon and link to the consumer web tools by mid-2012.


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