Are advertisers stepping over the privacy line with cell phones? Two advocacy groups, the Center for Digital Democracy and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether mobile marketers are violating users' privacy, according to news report.
The two groups assert that emerging mobile marketing shops are beginning to employ the same "unfair and deceptive" behavioral targeting strategies as older Web marketers. "Mobile devices, which know our location and other intimate details of our lives, are being turned into portable behavioral tracking and targeting tools that consumers unwittingly take with them wherever they go," the groups said in the official complaint.
The report said that the groups are asking the FTC to examine how mobile ad companies deploy techniques like behavioral targeting (serving ads to people based on their online activity) and geo-targeting (serving ads based on people's physical location). The groups are asking for the FTC to require companies to notify users about how their data is used and to ask for consent. The complaint singles out three companies in particular—Bango, MarchEx, and AdMob—but mentions a list of others.
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