The European online advertising industry has drafted a code of self-regulation that is ahead of the new EU Data Protection Regulation, where the online advertisers need to require users’ opt-in consent before installing tracking cookies.
Using cookies, organizations can track online habits and activities of Internet users through their websites, in order to send advertising based on the user’s preferences and tastes (behavioral advertising). The self-regulatory code stipulates that online ads would include an icon called “AdChoices” allowing users to change their privacy preferences in order to not be tracked for advertising purposes. Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and AOL are among the companies that have agreed to use this icon in their European ads online.
However, despite being an interesting initiative, it seems that this system does not meet the Commission’s requirements on previous consent (opt-in) before installing tracking cookies. ∗