Google caught afoul of privacy law in Canada with behavioural ads


TORONTO – Google has been caught afoul of Canadian law by displaying web ads linked to a person’s health history, Canada’s interim privacy commissioner says.

Chantal Bernier 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.

Privacy law does not allow consumers to be targeted based on “sensitive personal information,” including a person’s health.

Google said in a statement Wednesday it will upgrade the system that reviews ads for compliance, increase monitoring of ads and provide more information to advertisers and staff about the rules. It will implement these steps by June.

Bernier says she is pleased with Google’s actions.

3 comments on “Google caught afoul of privacy law in Canada with behavioural ads

  1. More proof that politicians and government employees need to take courses in how the Internet works or keep their mitts off the worldwide web. He wasn’t being targeted based on his ‘sensitive personal information’ – he was being targeted based on his INTERESTS, as evidenced by his searching for the term.