The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched a new code of good practice to help consumers understand how behaviour-based advertising works.

Nick Stringer, head of regulatory affairs for the organisation, said the self-regulatory guidelines are designed to build consumer trust in targeted internet marketing and show web users how their privacy is protected.

"The guidelines are a commitment by those companies that collect and use the data," he remarked, pointing out that they are a work in progress and will be adapted over time to reflect changes in technology and consumer behaviour.

His comments come after Google launched interest-based advertising as a beta test on its partner sites and on YouTube.

Internet users will be shown ads based on their web browsing habits and will be able to edit their own profiles to add any topic areas they are interested in and remove any they are not.

Mr Stringer said behavioural advertising accounts for around 20 per cent of online display advertising at the moment.

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