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Canadian Journal of Law and Technology

Abstract

Online profiling or behavioural tracking is the process by which private companies track and gather data about users’ activities in online platforms. The data collected by all the companies is aggregated with the purpose of creating a comprehensive profile about users. Since at least 15 years ago, there have been several attempts to regulate online profiling in order to reduce its privacy implications. In general, these regulations have tried to limit the way the information is used, the type of data that is collected, and impose or suggest the security standards that the companies should take to protect it. This article will demonstrate that the proposed regulations do not reduce online profiling’s privacy repercussions. In addition, it will argue that in order to reduce privacy repercussions it is necessary to regulate the aggregation and commercialization of the data. However, governments, industries, and users may not have enough incentives to find alternative methods or effective regulations to address the problems raised by online profiling.

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