Feeds

IAB retracts 48-hour retargeting cookie advice

Oh behave

Security for virtualized datacentres

Online advertising trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has withdrawn a code of practice which recommended that behavioural advertising retargeting cookies should expire after 48 hours.

The IAB's Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC) published the code last week. It applied to the practice of 'retargeting' web users who had visited a site with ads for that site on other people's websites, using cookies to track their movements and activities.

The code of practice included some measures that were compulsory for IAB members involved in the practice, and some that were advisory.

That code has been withdrawn and will be reworked after further industry consultation, though, the IAB said. The code has disappeared from the IAB's website.

"Following extensive feedback from IAB members, the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC) has withdrawn its Code for the time being to ensure the initiative fully represents the needs and wants of the market, and that the language used is satisfactory to all corners of the industry," said IAB head of regulatory affairs Nick Stringer.

"The story relating to the Code's initial launch has now been removed from www.iabuk.net and is no longer available. Following further consultation with all the relevant organisations and industry bodies, an updated version will be launched in the coming months," he said.

Behavioural advertising is an increasingly common phenomenon. It displays different adverts to different people based on their web browsing history, as tracked by cookie files.

Retargeting sends people adverts related to sites or products they have previously visited and seeks to take advantage of the idea that a web user is more likely to buy something they have previously looked than something they have not.

Behavioural advertising has raised privacy concerns, though, as companies and advertising networks engage in increased monitoring of users' web activity.

Privacy regulator the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said in July that there was nothing "intrinsically unfair" about behavioural advertising, but that users should be offered the chance to avoid being tracked.

Consumer protection watchdog the Office of Fair Trading reported on its own investigation into behavioural advertising earlier this year and said that it would permit the industry to continue to self-regulate, but that it would create its own regulation if IAB rules on privacy were not extended and acted on.

The behavioural retargeting code contained compulsory rules to determine which cookies should trigger a payment if a user acts on an ad and makes a purchase. It also dealt with privacy concerns.

"[Behavioural retargeting] cookie lengths are usually shorter than click cookie windows, for example 24 or 48 hours. This should be a key consideration," it said.

It also advised companies using the cookies to tell web users that retargeting was taking place. "The advertiser/merchant will be encouraged to highlight the programmes where [retargeting] is in place, offering extra transparency for affiliates/publishers," it said.

The IAB's Stringer said that the organisation was already seeking to 'adapt' the code.

"Online is a diverse and complex medium which boasts a number of different business models, and it is the responsibility of the IAB to adapt its policies, when relevant, as the market evolves," he said.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.