Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google Remarketing Ads Found To Violate Canadian Privacy Law

Ginny Marvin, of Search Engine Land:

Google’s own privacy policy states it “will not associate sensitive interest categories with your cookie (such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or sensitive financial categories) and will not use these categories when showing you interest-based ads”. […]

Google stated that remarketing criteria and user lists are determined by the advertiser directly. Google requires all advertisers using this platform to agree to specific policies, which prohibit all forms of interest based advertising involving sensitive categories, including the use of user lists based on “health or medical information”.  According to Google, it is up to each remarketer to determine the application of Google’s policies to any proposed remarking.

It seems to me that the first paragraph directly contradicts the second; or, at least, that the second is a weak-sauce excuse for lack of compliance with the first. I’m not sure why Google can’t directly control the terms advertisers are able to use. The small cynical part of me thinks that Google is able to control these terms, but chooses not to to maintain plausible deniability when an ad is targeted either incorrectly or in violation of their privacy policy.