A "Do Not Track List" for Canada?


Janet Lo


Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)




This report examines online behavioural targeted advertising and online behavioural tracking, the practice of tracking consumers' online activities to target advertising to individual consumers based on their online history, preferences and attributes. The report makes several recommendations, including a requirement for consumer opt-in consent to online tracking and behavioural targeted advertising. Greater transparency and consumer education are needed for tracking technologies and behavioural targeted advertising practices on the internet. Canadian legislators and regulators should begin studying the issue of online behavioural targeted advertising to catch up to American and European regulators, who have already begun considering how their regulatory frameworks protect their consumers on the internet. The Privacy Commissioner should review the existing Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to set out guidelines for how website operators can deploy behavioural advertisement technology in order to comply with the law and protect the privacy of Canadians. The Government should review existing privacy legislation and regulatory framework and bring forward new rules as necessary to ensure that these systems only operate on an explicit, informed, opt-in basis and that an effective enforcement mechanism with fines exists to punish marketers who operate outside the rules. Special consideration must also be given to the issue of behavioural advertising targeting children and young people.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
285 McLeod Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, ON   K2P 1A1
(613) 562-4002
(613) 562-0007

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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