MMA Issues Privacy Guidelines

In an effort to establish privacy standards for the mobile marketing industry, the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) has issued a series of suggested guidelines designed to raise awareness and spur debate among mobile operators and marketers engaged in the practice of location-based targeting. The guidelines express the MMA’s point of view on the need to protect subscribers’ privacy while maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of mobile marketing campaigns, and serve as the first call-to-action for privacy standards in North America.

As part of the point of view’s suggested guidelines, the MMA recommends:

  • That its members not merge personally-identifiable information with mobile subscribers’ location information without confirmed opt-in consent from the individual subscribers;
  • That members who wish to share subscriber information with third-parties should do so only with the subscriber’s consent;
  • That full disclosure must be made if using anonymous or aggregate location information for marketing purposes;
  • That subscribers should be able to opt-out of programs at any time, even if they have already agreed to receive marketing campaigns.

    The MMA is also urging organizations storing location information to implement security measures ensuring that data is not lost, misused, intercepted or altered.

    “The MMA’s point of view on location-based targeting is meant to both protect the consumer and further the growth of mobile marketing, providing a win-win situation for both subscribers and companies within the mobile industry,” said Barry Peters, vice president, Emerging Media & Relationship Marketing for Carat Interactive and chair of the North American MMA Privacy Initiative. “With these suggested guidelines, we are initiating discussion on what needs to be done so that mobile marketing can continue to expand and be a viable option for both operators and marketers alike. We look forward to maintaining our leadership role in driving this discussion in the months ahead, and welcome any feedback or ideas from all organizations.”

    The MMA’s suggested guidelines are the result of many months’ research, work and deliberation by MMA board members, who include some of the premier names in the mobile marketplace Other well-respected mobile industry and privacy-related organizations, including CTIA and TRUSTe, also offered input into the crafting of the MMA’s suggested guidelines. The organization expects to have them officially adopted as guidelines by the MMA by this summer.

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