Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Privacy / data protection - Reding interview - UK behavioural advertising breach?

Interesting interview "The Facebook Age" with Commissioner Reding on social networking, "online privacy, teens doling out too much information and just what the Commission thinks of limiting such action. Is privacy over?"

She was quoted as saying in the interview (emphasis added) -

Well there was a case last summer in August [2009] involving a company in the UK, and what they were doing was they were getting information from websites without the consent of the user, and they were using this information for behavioral advertising.  The Commission started an infringement case, which means that they told the UK that the way they implemented their law in the data protection authority was not positioned to allow for the prior informed consent of the users.

I must have missed hearing about the case she mentioned. What case? Is that really what triggered the June 2010 Commission action against the UK in relation to the Data Protection Directive?

The October 2009 Commission action against the UK on the Data Protection Directive and ePrivacy Directive was because of Phorm, not this, surely. The Phorm events pre-dated August 2009 and the case she mentioned sounds like a website operator rather than someone working with an ISP.

Does anyone know anything about the case she cited? Or that she did in fact for some reason actually mean to refer to Phorm?

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