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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 26, 2007

EU ponders targeted advertising privacy concerns

European Union regulators have concerns over online privacy and targeted online advertising is about to come under heavy scrutiny.

by Helen Leggatt

The online advertising industry is growing more than 25 percent a year and many large businesses are looking to take advantage of advances in targeted advertising methods.

But there is a balance to be struck, says Vincent Bonneau from French telecom’s research group Idate. "Online sites have to make sure they are not intruding people's privacy, otherwise targeted advertising will backfire," he added.

The EU’s scrutiny comes as over 13,000 Facebook users have signed a petition protesting against the networking site's new advertising system which alerts members of friends' purchases online.

"Sites like Facebook are revolutionizing how we communicate with each other in a 21st century democracy," said Adam Green, a spokesman for Civic Action. "But we need to make sure they place the needs and privacy rights of their users ahead of the needs of corporate advertisers," he said via Reuters UK.

Tags: European Union, Facebook, privacy, targeted advertising

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