Data Privacy

Tuesday, 24th June 2008

Hosted by:

Denton Wilde Sapte


Nick Graham, Partner, Denton Wilde Sapte
"Targeted advertising"

Nicholas Bohm, General Counsel, FIPR
"Aspects of consent"

Nick Stringer, Head of Regulatory Affairs, IAB
"Benefits of targeted advertising"

ISPA held its third Legal Forum of 2008 on the pertinent issue of targeted advertising, kindly hosted at the offices of ISPA Legal Forum member, Denton Wilde Sapte.  With recent press coverage and government statements focusing on some of the legal issues surronding the use of targeted behavioural advertising through ISPs, the forum offered an opportunity for members to seek clarity on an issue that could significantly benefit members.  The forum was well attended by a variety of people with legal, regulatory and technical backgrounds, representing small and large ISPs and law firms.

Nick Graham spoke first setting the legal background to the use of personal data and targeted advertising.  Nick spoke about the existing data protection laws, how targeted advertising is achieved in the offline world and some of the potential difficulties faced with obtaining consent.

Following Nick, Nicholas Bohm from FIPR spoke about some of the legal difficulties surrounding consent, data and advertising.  These potential difficulties includes what is identifiable personal data, obtaining permission from all users of a computer and not just a subscriber, as some of the technical difficulties involved, the choice of opting in or out and the use of third-party agents to deal with the data.

Nick Stringer offered the final presentation of the day, looking at the positive aspects of targeted advertising.  He argued that with advertising becoming more and more prevalent on the Internet, more intelligent and less irrelevant advertising would be a good thing.  The benefits to ISPs, he added, of targeted advertising, if carried out within the law, would be a positive commercial opportunity.

The presentations were followed by a lively and informed debate hosted by the chair, Elle Todd, Senior associate from Olswang.  Questions focussed on the definition of personal data, the financial benefits that can help ensure an affordable, competitive market and gaining consent from multiple users.

ISPA would like to thank Denton Wilde Sapte for hosting the event and the speakers for delivering interesting presentations. ISPA looks forward to welcoming everyone to future Legal Forums.