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Summary:

Online activity has always been a source of concern for those of us who spend a lot of time on the web due to privacy concerns.  We’ve gotten used to the notion of those little cookies that track where we go on the web and how […]

Online activity has always been a source of concern for those of us who spend a lot of time on the web due to privacy concerns.  We’ve gotten used to the notion of those little cookies that track where we go on the web and how often we go there.  Marketing firms have long been watching our web habits to leverage that information in any way they can and we have all but forgotten we are being watched the whole time we are on the web.

Stacey at GigaOM has pointed out that the next privacy battlefield is going to be the mobile phone.  She rightly indicates that marketing firms are already jockeying to mine the information that is gleaned from all of us who surf the web regularly on our mobile phones.  This becomes particularly concerning when you realize that the carriers have all of this information about our web habits that can be sold to the highest bidder.

While mobile advertising should be a concern for all of us it’s particularly frightening when you consider that mobile phones also add a privacy-busting layer of information about our habits.  Most mobile phones today have GPS capabilities which means that mobile marketers can also tap into the information related to where you go and how often.  That’s just plain scary and we can only hope that legislators step in to limit who can get their grubby hands on our information.

  1. And yet we use sites like wakoopa to tell the world exactly what we’ve been doing. Seems a little backwards to worry about privacy when we’re all searching for new ways to share our habits with the world!

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  2. GoodThings2Life Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    @Bob… Exactly right!

    We post our underaged drunken party photos on Facebook and Myspace and Flickr, videos on Youtube, and every other detail on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, and then sit around crying about all the results. Go figure.

    Granted, I have these accounts too, but I at least try to be responsible about them, and I certainly don’t complain if I screw up.

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  3. opt-in vs opt-out, people…

    its funny how many will join if asked, but make a fuss if dragged into same…

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  4. There has always been data available on our mobile phone activity. Mobile phone companies know the location you switched your phone on and at what time. It is obvious that if they have marketing data to sell then they will unless we request they don’t.

    My current understanding is the consumer has to take the action to stop their data being shared or sold.

    This is a big debate as to what is right and what is wrong.

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  5. I think it’s one thing to be exposed to adverting in environment where you expect it but your mobile device is a tool, something you use for many different applications. If you opt in for your data to be shared and sold then that would be fine but to have to opt out is goes against the grain.

    Wasn’t this the same conversation that lead to a change in email marketing laws a few years back?

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