Consumer privacy in the mobile advertising era: challenges and best practices

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. The marriage of technology and advertising
  3. Why mobile is different: location, location, location
  4. Carrier IQ and the importance of transparency
  5. Carriers, customer information, and the enterprise
  6. Online ads: legislation and regulation
  7. Europe’s data-protection directive
  8. Mobile segments and existing regulations
    1. Health care
    2. Finance, banking, and payments
  9. Conclusion
  10. Key takeaways and best practices
  11. About Colin Gibbs

1. Summary

The modern smartphone is a wonder of efficiency, usefulness, and portability. It enables us not only to communicate with one another but also to access an overwhelming amount of online information.

Of course, all of that activity can be monitored and used by app developers, content providers, and their advertising partners to present highly targeted (and therefore lucrative) ads through our mobile devices. For those business models to realize their full potential, though, they require consumers to sacrifice their privacy to one degree or another: Online activity must be tracked, mobile searches must be monitored, and even location should be leveraged to deliver the most highly targeted ads possible. Those advertising dollars support free or cheap applications and services that can bring substantial value to the daily lives of consumers.

This report is intended for every link in the mobile-marketing chain, from app and web developers to advertisers to providers of mobile operating systems. It will examine the innate trade-offs between consumer privacy and successful business models that leverage potentially sensitive user information. More importantly, it will look at existing and pending guidelines, legislation and other regulations that will shape the growth of mobile advertising and marketing in the months and years to come. And it will offer suggestions and best practices that will help every player in the value chain tap the market as fully as possible.

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