Advertisers are constantly looking for new ways to obtain more information from and about online consumers in an effort to provide a more enriching and satisfying online experience for the consumer. At the same time, consumers are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the online collection of their information and are finding new ways to prevent it. As technology evolves, advertisers are seeking to strike a balance between their business objectives and the rights and desires of the modern consumer. What if an advertiser were able to collect weeks, or even months of personal data, including a consumer’s location, time zone, photographs, text from blogs, shopping cart contents, emails and a history of web pages visited, all without the consumer giving consent? Would the collection of such information merely provide for a significantly enriched user experience, or does it present a substantial invasion of privacy? The World Privacy Forum fears the latter, and along with various class action plaintiffs’ lawyers, points to the increasing use of HTML5 as a data collection vehicle as the source of grave concern.
This article by Ben Mulcahy and Gina Ilardi was originally published in the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. To read the article please click here, or visit the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel website.