Overview: Using cookies and other emerging forms of online behavioural advertising

Identifying the form(s) of online behavioural advertising

Online behavioural advertising describes a wide range of activities companies engage in to collect information about users’ online activity (such as webpages visited, links clicked and online transaction history) which is subsequently used to show more tailored or relevant content and advertisements.

See Identifying the form(s) of online behavioural advertising.

Deciding what types of personal information are used

Sometimes the data collected is not personal information in the traditional sense (such as your name, phone and contact details), but rather generic information linked to an online identifier which is used to collect information unique to you (if you log-in), your browser (if you accept cookies) or to your devices (where device ID is tracked) then used to make inferences based on online activity (such as your age group and potential interests).

See Deciding what types of personal information are used.

Cookies, online behavioural advertising, aggregate data and complying with the Privacy Act

Vast amounts of data can be collected and stored and information from various sources aggregated together to provide a picture of a person, their behaviour and their preferences. Where descriptive and/or predictive data is associated with a persistent identifier that relates to a unique individual, the individual is identified and the information is “personal information” and regulated by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

See Cookies, online behavioural advertising, aggregate data and complying with the Privacy Act.

In this subtopic, you will learn about:

  • different forms of online behavioural advertising;
  • how to determine if personal information is being collected;
  • what to do if personal information is being collected; and
  • risks associated with trying to aggregate and de-identify personal information for data analytics.

Overview of using cookies & other emerging forms of online behavioural advertising

Today, organisations have access to more data than ever before. “Big data” is the new normal as organisations collect data across a broad range of channels such as apps, email, and web browsing. That data is then harnessed to provide valuable business insight.