Google ads target off-limits Canadians

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Canada's Office of the Privacy Commissioner investigated Google over targeted health ads. The Financial Post reports that the search engine violated the country's advertising rules when health service ads popped up on a user's screen after searching for sleep apnea devices.  

The commissioner says sleep apnea should have fallen under the “sensitive” category of search terms, which means advertisers should not be able to leverage that information for ads under the country's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Although the article does not dispute whether sleep apnea qualifies as a health condition, the Google spat did draw attention to the vagueness of the law. PIPEDA requires data-collecting groups, like Google, to label things as sensitive or not, but critics told FP they need a better guideline.

FP says Google has agreed to improve staff oversight.

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