views

Office of Fair Trading to launch probe into how the web uses customer data

The Office of Fair Trading said yesterday it had launched a probe into strategies used by online retailers, including&nbsp; those designed to track users&rsquo; online behaviours. <br /><br />The watchdog said it was targeting &ldquo;behavioural advertising and customised pricing, where prices are individually tailored using information collected about a consumer&rsquo;s internet use&rdquo;.<br /><br />It said the first study will look at the online targeting of advertising and prices, including where prices are individually tailored using information collected about a consumer&rsquo;s internet use. The second will look into the advertising of price practices that could &ldquo;mislead consumers&rdquo;, such as three-for-two or one-day sale offers. This study will examine both online and in-store use of these practices, but will focus online.<br /><br />Possible outcomes from the two studies could include making recommendations to the government or sector regulators and even investigating and taking action against companies suspected of breaching consumer law.