Better protection from unwanted advertising needed

5 October 2010

Better protection from unwanted advertising needed

A debate is raging in the European Parliament over the increase in advertising on the Internet and elsewhere and the consequences of this for the consumer. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong: 'It's already got to the point where your personal emails are being read by firms looking to send you directed advertising. It's high time the European Commission banned this invasion of privacy, as well as tackling advertising aimed specifically at children.'

Internet Advertising

De Jong this week presented proposals in the European Parliament aimed at improving protection for the consumer, after holding discussions with Internet companies, including Google, on the objections which exist to Internet advertising. "I explained to Google's representative," says De Jong, "that it's going much too far if people who send an email by gmail concerning say a troubled relationship then start to get all sorts of ads from marriage guidance bureaux and the like. Unless you specifically give permission to have your emails read, an end must be put to this sort of practice."

Vulnerable groups

The SP Euro-MP has also proposed that additional research should be conducted into the impact of advertising on vulnerable groups such as children. "I want to know from the Commission what the results might be of the new, refined advertising techniques now in use. I see no advantage, for instance, in allowing children to be bombarded with advertising specifically directed at them during children's television or radio programmes."

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