What is Interest Based Advertising?
Interest Based Advertising is also known as Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA).
Interest Based Advertising is a way of making the advertisements (ads) on the websites you visit more relevant to you. We collect anonymous information about the web browsing activity of your internet-enabled device and use that information to associate your browser with one or more pre-defined interest categories. This enables us to provide ads to you that are tailored to your interests. Interest Based Advertising does not change the amount of advertising you receive, it just makes it more relevant.
Is Interest Based Advertising the same as contextual advertising?
No. Contextual advertising uses the website you are currently viewing to determine the type of ad you will receive. For example, if you are viewing a travel webpage, you might receive an advertisement for luggage. In contrast, Interest Based Advertising uses your prior internet usage to determine the most relevant ad to display.
What information do you collect for Interest Based Advertising?
As you browse our websites and websites we deliver ads to, and/or conduct searches using a Sensis search engine, a cookie (a small text file) in your browser allows us to identify your internet-enabled device and make informed decisions about your interests based on your web browsing activity. We do not collect or use any information during this process that could identify you as an individual.
Using the cookie as an identifier, we associate your browser with one or more pre-defined interest categories and show you ads that match to those interest categories. For example, if you frequently visit websites about cars or conduct car related searches, your browser may be added to the ‘automotive’ interest category. The next time you browse the internet, we may show you ads related to the automotive industry.
Which websites do you collect information from?
We collect information from all of the websites in the Telstra/Sensis group including bigpond.com, Telstra.com, sensis.com.au, yellowpages.com.au, whitepages.com.au, tradingpost.com.au, whereis.com, citysearch.com.au as well as the third party sites in the Telstra Advertising Network. Third party sites are websites not owned by Telstra or Sensis to which we provide advertising.
What are the benefits of Interest Based Advertising?
Interest Based Advertising means the advertising you receive is more relevant to you. It does not increase the amount of advertising you receive.
Will my online experience be disrupted by Interest Based Advertising?
No. You will not receive more advertising, nor will the advertising you receive be more intrusive. Interest based advertising just makes the advertising you do receive more relevant to you.
What is the usual length of time that you retain the information you collect for Interest Based Advertising?
The interest categories linked to your browser change over time based on your most recent internet activity. Typically, your browser cookies expire after 30 days.
Which interest categories do you use?
The broad interest categories that we use are activities and recreation, agriculture, automotive, banking and finance (note - we do not collect or use any personal banking or financial information in this process), construction and home, events, healthcare and education, IT, security, environment, professional services, storage services, retail, travel and transport and life events.
How do you determine which interest categories to associate with a browser?
Interest categories are determined by a scoring system. The system considers the sites you visit and searches you conduct, and, when a minimum threshold is reached, predicts you are interested in a certain interest category and delivers advertising to you that matches that interest category.
Can I see which interest categories have been assigned to my browser?
No, we don’t currently have the capability to display this information.
Who do you disclose this information to?
We do not disclose the Interest Based Advertising information we collect to unrelated third parties. We use it only within the Telstra Advertising Network to serve ads which are likely to match your interests. Third party advertisers may ask us to serve ads from a particular interest category to website visitors who have previously shown an interest in that category. The advertiser tells us which audience they would like to reach and we show their ad to people with the relevant interest. We do not share any Interest Based Advertising data with these advertisers or any other third parties.
Do you collect any personal information for Interest Based Advertising?
No, we do not collect or use any Personal Information for Interest Based Advertising. Personal Information is data that can be used to identify an individual. The only information we gather to conduct Interest Based Advertising is anonymous data about your browsing activity. For more information on how Telstra handles personal information, please see our Privacy Statement.
What is your policy about sensitive interest categories and targeting children?
We do NOT create Interest Based Advertising interest categories based on any of the following sensitive market segments:
- children under the age of 13
- racial or ethnic origin
- political opinions
- membership of a political association
- religious beliefs or affiliations
- philosophical beliefs
- membership of a professional or trade association
- membership of a trade union
- sexual preferences or practices
- criminal record
- health information
- genetic information that is not otherwise health information
How can I opt out of receiving Interest Based Advertising?
You can opt out of receiving Interest Based Advertising at the Your Online Choices website.
Opting out will stop Interest Based Advertising from being delivered to the browser you are using, but will not reduce the amount of advertising you receive. You cannot opt out of receiving advertising altogether. Like most websites, our websites and the services we offer are largely free of charge because we rely on advertising to fund them.
How can I check if I have opted out?
You can check if you have opted out of Interest Based Advertising at the Your Online Choices website. Note that if you have previously opted out of Interest Based Advertising and then clear your cookies, your opt out will also be cleared.
If I have opted out, can I opt back in?
Yes, you can change your choice at the Your Online Choices website.
What are cookies and how do they relate to Interest Based Advertising?
Cookies are an industry standard and most major websites use them. A cookie is a small text file that our websites may place on your computer. Usually, cookies are used as a means for our websites to remember your preferences. As such, cookies are designed to improve your experience of our websites.
In the Interest Based Advertising context, cookies allow us to identify an internet-enabled device when it visits one of our participating websites. We can then serve advertisements according to the interest categories to which that device has been previously assigned.
What kind of cookies does Telstra use and when do they expire?
We use standard browser cookies to conduct Interest Based Advertising. Typically these cookies expire after 30 days.
Can I remove or disable cookies?
Yes, you can choose to remove (or ‘clear’) all the cookies currently stored by your browser via your browser tools. However, if you have previously opted out of Interest Based Advertising, you will also clear your opt out request and so start receiving Interest Based Advertising again.
You can also use your browser tools to permanently disable cookies. This will prevent you from using all services that rely on cookies until you allow your browser to start accepting cookies again. It will also prevent any Interest Based Advertising from occurring.
If I have opted out of Interest Based Advertising, what happens if I disable cookies?
Interest Based Advertising opt outs are cookie based. If you have opted out of Interest Based Advertising and you then disable your cookies, you will clear your opt out request. You will not receive any Interest Based Advertising until you allow your browser to start accepting cookies again, but when you do you will no longer have an opt out cookie and so will start receiving Interest Based Advertising again. You can check the status of your opt out request at the Your Online Choices website.
How do I get more information or make a complaint?
You can email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do you adhere to the Australian Best Practice Guidelines for Interest Based Advertising?
Yes, we are a signatory to the Australian Digital Advertising Alliance Best Practice Guideline launched in March 2011.
The Guidelines are based on seven Principles developed to better foster transparency, knowledge, and choice for consumers and apply consumer-friendly standards to Interest Based Advertising. The principles specify that organisations should provide notice of their Interest Based Advertising practices to consumers and give consumers the ability to opt out of receiving online behaviourally targeted advertising, keep Interest Based Advertising data safe, carefully and appropriately handle Interest Based Advertising that relates to sensitive segmentation and establish an effective accountability and complaint handling mechanism.
Further information about the Guideline and Interest Based Advertising generally can be found at the Your Online Choices website.