The office of the privacy commissioner confirmed that Google searches about a medical device resulted in a user being “followed” by health-related ads on unrelated websites.
Canadian deplored so-called “behavioral” ads based on web browsing history. While they are not illegal, a law concerning the protection of personal information in the private sector in Canada does not allow consumers to be targeted based on “sensitive data monitoring” including health aspects.
If Google’s policy on privacy prohibits advertisements based on race , religion , sexual orientation or health, the U.S. giant has acknowledged that some advertisers who use its advertising service does not comply with this policy.
In response to the Commissioner’s investigation, Google representatives said to be committed to provide more information to advertisers to increase its efforts to monitor marketing campaigns follow up, but also to offer more training to its staff and to upgrade its automated review.
The Californian company said it would implement these measures by June.
According to a Google Canada spokesperson, the company said to have worked closely with the Office of the Commissioner and is pleased that this issue can be fixed.
Ms. Bernier also expressed her satisfaction to see Google do to solve this problem, also stating that most Canadians believe health information are “extremely sensitive.”
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