The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is to develop a set of mobile privacy guidelines, which aim “to address the growing need for marketers and consumers to have a transparent, accepted understanding as to how consumer information is collected and used for purposes of relevant value exchange within a mobile marketing context and across market sectors.”
The Association is calling for the whole mobile ecosystem to support its initiative, including media owners, operators and advertising agencies, all of which are invited to take part in the deliberations of the MMA's Privacy Committee.
This group already publishes a best practice guide to acceptable and unacceptable advertising processes, covering SMS, MMS, email, IVR, mobile web, location services and in-app ads.
Privacy has become a hugely high-profile issue in the mobile web world this year, with well-publicized disputes over the activities of Google, Facebook and others, and fears about the potential for location-based and personalized services to collect private data.
This week, The Wall Street Journal published a report on the ways that mobile apps are sharing information with third parties without explicit consent from consumers.
In particular, the MMA will look at the dividing line between the ability of the advertiser to target relevant ads at customers, and how far the operator can share that information with ad networks.
Operators see their detailed knowledge of their customers' habits and preferences as a key advantage over the open web services, in offering advertising and content frameworks that they can control.