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Consumer Groups Seek Investigation Into Mobile Ads

  • Posted: Friday, January 16, 2009
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Jason Ankeny

Consumer groups The Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group will petition the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into privacy threats posed by mobile advertising. The groups will appear before the FTC Tuesday to plead their case, arguing that mobile ad firms are failing to fully disclose the extent of the information they collect on consumers and their behaviors. "They know your location, they're profiling you and categorizing you," said Center for Digital Democracy executive director Jeffrey Chester. "It's disturbing.

"The Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group previously lobbied the FTC to investigate online marketing, which relies on similar data collection techniques--following an inquiry based on the request, the FTC proposed a set of guidelines for protecting online consumer privacy.

The groups now assert that mobile consumer tracking is even more intrusive, due largely to the location-tracking capabilities inherent in wireless devices, and argue that consumers are largely unaware of the implications of clicking on ads and signing up for mobile data services. Marketers "utterly fail to inform users what data are being collected and how they will be used," the complaint reads. [FierceMobileContent]

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