OBA: Good Online Behaviour

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Heard the term “Online Behavioural advertising “ (or OBA) being thrown around in the media lately? With the issue of privacy getting increasingly more coverage, OBA has been a hot topic for discussion.

The waters are easily muddied though. Thanks to a heady cocktail of both technical and legal issues, solutions aren’t uniform or straightforward and therefore there’s much misinformation out there and no doubt of bit of mileage being gained by a few vocal lobby groups.

So it’s vital for us as marketers to have a good handle on what is best practice, and how to manage your customers and stakeholders should the issue of privacy and OBA arise.

What is it

OBA is the practice (by websites) of collecting data on your browsing habits to create pre- defined interest categories. By using cookie data & membership profiling OBA means that advertisers are able to serve you ads which are more relevant to your interests. For example if a consumer browses content which is focused on recipes/cooking/food, publishers can take this data and start serving food specific advertising.

Key Points on Privacy

It’s important to consider that all credible networks must comply with their country’s respective privacy laws. In Australia, it’s the Privacy Act 1988, which is federally enacted, and information used for targeting ads is not personal. The key point is the user cannot be identified from the data.

Where personal information (for example registration data) is used, you should already have given your consent for the publisher to use your data (for example Facebook). If you’re ever concerned over over a websites privacy be sure to check its privacy policy.

Spread the Word

The Australian Digital Advertising Alliance (ADAA), has just launched it’s consumer website, youronlinechoices.com.au which has all the information consumers will ever need to know on OBA. This initiative includes a best practices guideline for publisher with and some of the countries biggest publishers are already on board including: Google, Ninemsn, Yahoo7 and Fairfax.

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