The explosion of interactive technology in recent years has led to what seems to be an unending concern over user privacy – and rightfully so. As consumers, we worry that any small piece of personal information, no matter how sacred, can be harvested by advertising and marketing agencies looking to make an extra buck. Facebook seems to be engulfed in a privacy scandal every other day. Google and Mozilla have incorporated “do not track” features into their web browsers in order to prevent government regulation. Privacy is obviously a big, big issue with people.
As the mobile industry, and consequently, mobile advertising continues to rise, major associations have begun taking steps to ensure that user data is treated respectfully and responsibly. The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), a global non-profit trade association comprised of over 700 mobile marketing players has established a Global Code of Conduct, a set of privacy regulation principles for all members to follow.
Late last month, the GSMA, an association of over 800 mobile operators, released their Mobile Privacy Principles. We at Ringleader are proud to say that our own privacy policies not only meet the expectations of these two industry-defining documents but go well beyond their expected requirements.
Both the MMA’s and the GSMA’s guidelines focus primarily on the concepts of transparency and notice. “Notice”, as defined in the MMA’s Global Code of Conduct“ should include information sufficient enough to permit a user to make an informed decision about his or her choices on how that information is used for that marketing program.” In other words, you have to let people decide how their info is going to be used.’
GSMA adds that transparent mobile companies “shall be open and honest with users and will ensure users are provided with clear, prominent and timely information regarding their identity and data privacy practices.”
Or, simply, “You gotta communicate.” And we agree.
Third, there is a high priority today placed on the concept of purpose and use. As the MMA states “Mobile Marketers must take reasonable steps to ensure that user information they collect for the purpose of delivering targeted advertising is handled responsibly, sensitively, and in compliance with applicable law.” At Ringleader, we use data collected only to deliver to you relevant ads, to ensure that you don’t see the same ad too many times, and to assist advertisers in crafting the most effective campaigns possible. Nothing less, nothing more.
Believe it or not, we do this for the consumer. Yes, our clients want to make an extra buck. But they don’t want to talk to the uninterested. WE don’t want to target the uninterested. Our clients have a product or service that may be truly be beneficial – to the right audience.
The state of today’s mobile privacy landscape ultimately rests on one paramount principle: that the rights of the user – your rights – are to remain intact. The MMA and the GSMA have provided guidelines to achieve that and we at Ringleader whole-heartedly believe all mobile advertising companies and platforms should follow their lead. Only through a transparent and open system can we provide the most enjoyable and effective mobile experience.