The European Union may crack down on targeted advertising following concern into the personal privacy aspects of such programs.
The Article 29 working party has an ongoing investigation into privacy online, and has previously forced Google to limit its data retention of web searches in Europe to 18 months.
According to a Reuters report, Gabriele Loewnau, a senior legal adviser for the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection said that targeted advertising was a “hot topic” that will be part of the work program for the EU next year.
Targeted advertising is this regard is different to regular contextual advertising in that it is not simply advertising that displays in context to the web site, but advertising that is displayed based on user habits, including browser habits and online purchases. Facebook’s new advertising program delivers ads based on user interests and those of their friends, potentially meaning that they may also be a target of any future EU crack down.