EU to probe web user profiling by advertisers
European authorities are to investigate consumer profiling by online advertisers amid allegations by senior European Union officials that “basic rights in terms of transparency, control and risk” are being violated. Officials say they will collect evidence from consumers and industry on the information commercial websites are collecting and how it is being used. It could result in new controls on online advertisers, internet service providers and networking sites.
Although not widely used for advertising at the moment, many broadband providers see the technology as a source of future revenues. Meglena Kuneva, EU consumer commissioner, will claim this week that the “terms and conditions” that consumers must accept to access commercial websites frequently breach privacy standards.
“Consumers are in fact paying for services with their personal data and their exposure to ads. This amounts to a new kind of commercial exchange,” she will say.
Kuneva said: “Consumers are in fact paying for services with their personal data and their exposure to ads. This amounts to a new kind of commercial exchange.”
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web, has condemned deep-packet inspection as “snooping”.