This website has been put together to help you understand online behavioral advertising.
It is important to understand that declining to be involved in online behavioural advertising (by switching off the data collection capabilities of the companies on this website) will not stop online advertising. You will continue to receive advertising but it will not be based on any of your past online activities.
Put simply, online behavioural advertising is a practice that is based on internet activity and allows advertisers to deliver advertisements to web users which reflect their interests. It’s safe, transparent, and designed to empower you, the consumer. To enforce this practice, industry representatives have developed the Australian Best Practice Guideline for Online Behavioural Advertising. For more information about the industry representatives, see About ADAA.
The Australian Best Practice Guideline is based on seven principles developed to better foster transparency, knowledge, and choice for consumers and apply consumer-friendly standards to online behavioural advertising, often referred to simply as OBA. The principles specify that organisations should provide notice of their OBA practices to consumers and enable consumers to exercise their right to opt out of receiving OBA, keep OBA data safe, carefully and appropriately handle OBA that relates to sensitive segmentation and establish an effective accountability and complaint handling mechanism.
What is online behavioural advertising?
Online behavioural advertising (also known as interest-based advertising) is a way of serving advertisements on the websites you visit and making them more relevant to you and your interests. Shared interests are grouped together based upon previous web browsing activity and web users are then served advertising which matches their shared interests. In this way, advertising can be made as relevant and useful as possible.
How does it work?
Imagine you are planning a holiday to Rome. You visit a website’s section on Rome and view a few articles about places to stay and visit. On a future visit online, while reading an article about your favourite football team, you see an advertisement for a 2-for-1 dinner in Rome or an offer for discounted car hire in Rome. You receive these specially tailored ads because you, and other people like you, have shown an interest in Rome. This can enhance your web experience by making the most of technology that is only available on the internet – helping reduce the number of ads that aren’t of interest to you.
Online behavioural advertising (sometimes called interest-based advertising) and often referred to simply as ‘OBA’ is a way of serving advertisements that are more relevant to you and your interests on the websites you visit. Along with many other anonymous users, an internet enabled device (such as a computer, mobile telephone or tablet) may be added to one or more general interest categories based on previous browsing behaviour and then served ads from those interest categories. In this way, advertising can be made as relevant and useful as possible.
This form of targeted advertising is based on someone’s past browsing activity which is why it is commonly referred to as online behavioural advertising. As it is based on past browsing activity, online behavioural advertising differs from other forms of online advertising such as contextual advertising. Contextual advertising is based on the web page you are on at that particular moment and serves advertising that is relevant to the content of the webpage and has nothing to do with your browsing history.
How is my privacy protected?
The way in which organisations collect, use, handle and keep secure your personal information is governed by Australian Privacy laws.
You can control which cookies you accept or refuse (see five top tips). The company collecting and using the data will also have a way for you to decline behavioural advertising. Signatories will have to provide a means for you to decline behavioural advertising from them. Click here to opt out of behavioural advertising.
What is I have other questions?
Some useful links:
- Our frequently asked questions should help provide answers to any other questions.
- We have also suggested five top tips to help you better understand and protect your online privacy.