Targeted internet marketing campaigns could come under close scrutiny from European Union (EU) officials over concerns relating to privacy, it has emerged.

According to online advertising news website, BizReport, EU regulators are set to consider the role of targeted ad campaigns and how consumer data is being used by the industry.

The website reports that the investigation follows a petition, put together by users of social networking website Facebook, against the site’s proposed Beacon application.

The service alerts user’s friends and contacts to their online activities such as purchases they have made on a number of partner sites.

Adam Green, a spokesman for Civic Action, said that although Facebook was revolutionising the way people communicate it was important that the site’s practices were monitored.

"We need to make sure they place the needs and privacy rights of their users ahead of the needs of corporate advertisers," he told Reuters.

Earlier this month the social networking site revealed that its Beacon application would form part of a new range of advertising features.

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