Consumer Privacy Law 2: Data Collection, Profiling and Targeting
LAW AND THE INTERNET, L. Edwards & C. Waelde, eds., Hart Publishing, 2009
25 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 16, 2009
This chapter traces the journey from relatively simple example of direct marketing online (spam) to more recent exercises in which consumers are more subtly tracked, profiled and targeted by advertisers. This targeting has appeared first on-line but increasingly offline tracking will be used too, using digital technologies such as RFID and sensor data collectors. Tracking technologies have evolved from simple “cookies”, first regulated in the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (“PECD”) in 2002 , to far more complex technologies of commercial surveillance. These are currently perplexing privacy advocates, privacy commissioners and the European Commission alike, while users are still largely ignorant of their existence. Will our individual and collective privacy suffer from this new type of scrutiny, and can data protection (DP) law still adequately manage to protect European users? In particular, this chapter takes the debate around the Phorm “Webwise” system in the UK and Europe as a case study to illustrate how difficult it is for the law to tackle these issues.
Keywords: internet, targeted marketing, gmail, adwords, phorm, profiling, RFID, GPS
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation