In December 2011, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of
Canada (OPC) issued guidance in December 2011 stating that
"collection or use of an individual's web browsing
activity must be done with that person's knowledge and
consent" and that there must be an "opt-out"
mechanism if the technology is being used for on-line behavioural
advertising. However, organizations in Canada have been short on
tools for complying with the OPC's guidance and have been slow
to increase the prominence of their disclosure regarding cookie
In the United States, as I reported in a previous
post, the FTC has called for the advertising industry to make
"Do Not Track" initiatives fully operational by the end
of 2012. Advertisers must be transparent about their deployment of
cookies and other on-line tracking technologies and provide people
with a method of opting out. The Digital
Advertising Alliance in the U.S. has continued to promote an
advertising opt out tool (AdChoices), which is beginning to appear
on web sites (often near the link to organization's privacy
policy). The Network Advertising Initiative also offers an opt-out tool and organizations have been
including links to the tool for users to opt-out.
In the UK, new "cookie" rules came into force on May
26, 2012. Organizations must now obtain consent to the use of
cookies and provide a method for subscribers and users to opt-out
of cookies (with some exceptions). The UK Information
Commissioner's Office has issued a guidance document to assist organizations with
compliance efforts. The examples provided for increasing the
prominence of disclosure of cookie use and how to obtain consent is
Meanwhile, Canada has lagged behind on practical advice from the
Federal and Provincial Privacy Commissioners and tools for
assisting Internet users to opt-out of tracking technologies. On
the "tools" front, this may change. In a preface to an article reporting on an interview with
outgoing IAB Canada president Paula Gignac, Marketing Magazine
reports that IAB Canada is in negotiations to bring the AdChoices
program to Canada. Some Canadian organizations aren't waiting
for a Canadian solution. The AdChoices icon has begun popping up on
websites of Canadian-based organizations.
About Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC)
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located in the country's key business centres. We focus on
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