GroupM Sets Mobile Privacy Rules

GroupM has introduced new mobile privacy guidelines for publishers aimed at limiting the amount of data collected and used in marketing campaigns.

The recommendations call for mobile publishers to mask device Unique User Identification (UUID) mechanisms whenever possible to ensure a greater degree of consumer privacy, and clearly display privacy policies for consumer review.

Publishers are also asked to explicitly state within privacy policies what information -- including location and UUID -- is being captured, paired with other data and/or shared with third parties. Furthermore, consumers should also be allowed to opt out of behavioral targeting of mobile ads.

A motivating factor: GroupM's mobile publishing partners will be urged to adopt the privacy guidelines to help prevent the possibility of government regulation.

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation in April that creates a privacy "bill of rights" that would let people opt out of anonymous behavioral targeting. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) last week introduced a separate bill that would require express consent from mobile users before collecting and sharing their locations with advertisers and other third parties.

That legislation followed recent Senate hearings focused on the location-tracking practices and policies of Apple and Google.

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