Tag: Mobiles

The Mobile “Don’t Track ” Database Yes or No?


Today, it is hard to find A News report about digital media without some reference to privacy and consumer rights or examples of those rights being violated. The Mobile segment of the digital media space is no exception. The current conversation is around building a database where consumers can go to “opt-out” of the targeting by participating advertisers and publishers.As the advancement of mobile advertising technology continues to progress, we find ourselves in a debate around handling the consumer’s data – even the data that doesn’t contain PII (personally identifiable information)

To date, as has been the case since the first cell-phone calls were made in 1983, the wireless industry has enjoyed the amazing growth through a competitive landscape rather than a overly regulated one. The argument is not about regulations or not. Robert Pitofsky then Chairman of the FTC made in a speech for the D.C. Bar Association Symposium in early 1998, where he said, “From a public policy perspective, self-regulation can offer several advantages over government regulation or legislation.”

There are countless examples of the Wireless Operators innovating to create a competitive edge as well as working together to make the whole industry grow. The current question on the table is around the creation of a national “do-not-track database” for online and mobile. Let’s separate the two for now, but I think we all would agree those lines are already blurred and will continue to be less distinctive. Clearly, the right move is for the industry to step up and build this. Waiting for the regulators to mandate will cause further delay and most likely limit the benefits.

The creation of the database will certainly give those interested in not being tracked a vehicle to ensure that their wishes are followed, but here at Ringleader Digital we have a database of over 40m unique devices – and since we launched our technology we have had just a couple thousand opt-outs. So clearly, those interested in not being tracked is a small number. In the end, tracking and targeting the ads that I see makes my whole experience more relative and interesting. Opting out of targeting doesn’t mean you won’t see ads, you have to pay extra for that. It just means you most likely won’t see as interesting an ad.

We spend our time working to provide a valuable and interesting experience across the ecosystem to a very personal device. We respect the fact that people are uneasy about the idea of being targeted or tracked as they use this device. It is with that in mind that we have been laying the foundation for a solution to allow consumers to not just “opt-out”, but actually “opt-in” to a more contextually relevant experience.