Thursday, May 1, 2014

Busted: Google afoul of Canada’s privacy law

Google is accused of showing user specific ads based on personal heal information.
TORONTO — Google has been caught afoul of the law by displaying web ads linked to a person’s health history, according to Canada’s interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier.An investigation by her office backed up a man’s complaints that he was seeing so-called behavioural advertisements based on his web browsing history. After searching for information about devices to treat sleep apnea, he began to see ads for those devices as he browsed the web.While behavioural advertising is not illegal, Canada’s privacy law does not allow consumers to be targeted based on “sensitive personal information,” including their health.Google’s privacy policy outlaws displaying advertisements based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health. But the Mountain View, Calif.-based company acknowledged that some advertisers using its ad-serving platform were not following the policy.

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