About Online Behavioral Advertising

We’ve put this website together in order to help you to understand online behavioral advertising, as well as your rights where online behavioral advertising is concerned. 

Online behavioral advertising is sometimes called interest-based advertising, but can also be referred to as OBA.

Choosing to decline to be involved in online behavioral advertising can be done by going onto a website and switching off any data collection capabilities that the companies on the website might have.

It is really important to understand that choosing to decline this will prevent the website from basing any advertisement on your past online activities, but it will not stop online advertising in general.

What Is Online Behavioral Advertising?

Online behavioral advertising is a way of presenting you with adverts that are more relevant to your interests on websites that you visit.

Shared interests within a target market are grouped together into one category, so people with those shared interests are easier presented with products that are relevant to them when visiting websites that represent those interests.

This means that advertising can be made as relevant to the consumer as possible, and as a result, it’s more interesting!

If you’ve ever been scrolling through Facebook and you’ve seen an advert pop up that seems strangely relevant to a google search you have just made, this is almost certainly because of online behavioral advertising.

In short, online behavioral advertising is used by advertising companies to present you with adverts that reflect your interests. 

The Australian Best Practice Guideline

Online behavioral advertising is a completely safe practice, designed to empower and benefit the consumer.

It is also transparent. In order to make sure that this ethical practice is enforced, industry representatives have developed the ‘Australian Best Practice Guideline for Online Behavioral Advertising’. If you’d like some more information about the industry representatives, you can go to the About ADAA page.  

The Australian Best Practice Guideline is based on seven principles. These principles have been developed in order to foster transparency, knowledge, and choice for consumers. They can help to apply standards that benefit the consumer to online behavioral advertising.

The principles laid out with the Australian Best Practice Guideline specify that organizations should give consumers information about their online behavioral advertising practices, enabling consumers to exercise their right to opt-out of receiving OBA. This gives consumers a choice as to how their information is used.

The principles also ensure that organizations using online behavioral advertising keep the data they use in order to carry out OBA safe, as well as carefully and appropriately handling any OBA that might relate to sensitive issues or groups whilst establishing effective accountability and complaint handling systems for the consumer to use, ensuring that if consumers do take any issue with how their information is being used, they can do something about it.

How Does Online Behavioral Advertising Work?

If you were thinking about buying a puppy, you might have made a bunch of various searches in order to work out how to care for the puppy.

A little later on, you might find yourself looking into your favorite film, and you’ll see an advert pop up for a pet subscription box. This advert has been presented to you because you, and other people with similar interests to you, have shown interest in puppies. This is great, because it can make your online experience more interesting with adverts that are tailored to you!

This type of technology is only available on the internet – normal billboards that you might see when you’re out and about aren’t able to adapt to you in this way. The adverts you see online are more interesting, and as an added plus, you don’t have to see as many adverts for products that you don’t enjoy! 

Online behavioral advertising is a method of presenting consumers with advertisements that are more relevant to your individual interests when visiting websites.

As a result, internet-enabled devices might be added to one or more interest-based categories, even if they’re used anonymously, as it is based on past browsing history and not your personal account.

This means that people that are likely to use this device will be shown advertisements that seem relevant to that group of peoples interests – for example, if an entire family liked a football team and used the family computer, anyone using that computer would be more likely to be shown an advert relevant to supporters of that particular football team.

What’s The Difference Between Online Behavioral Advertising And Contextual Advertising?

Online behavioral advertising is different from contextual advertising as it is based on your previous internet activity. Contextual advertising is based on the web page you are on at a specific time, so the advertising it presents you with is relevant to the content of the webpage – but has nothing to do with your browsing history. In this way, it is very different from online behavioral advertising. 

How Is My Privacy Protected?

You have the ability to control the cookies that you accept or refuse. There will also be a way for you to decline behavioral advertising by a specific company. Signatories will have to provide a means for you to decline behavioral advertising from them. 

If you ever register or have to use personal information, your websites’ privacy policy will explain this to you. You will always have a choice in whether you want to use or benefit from the more relevant advertising that is generated through online behavioral advertising, meaning that you will have an opportunity to consent to it – this is the pop up you will often receive, asking whether or not you would like to enable cookies.

Any anonymous data about your browsing activity is collected and assigned a specific advertising category (like cats, for example). If this suggests that you have a particular interest, a cookie is placed in your browser, determining the type of advertising that you receive. 

Australian Privacy laws also govern the way that your information is used, protected and handled.

Dale Williams