Commentary

Mobile Users Don't Want To Share Data With Apps Or Carriers

Earlier this year, mobile apps Path and Hipster were caught uploading users' address books without telling them. Both companies apparently did so in order to suggest friends for users, but that explanation didn't do very much to stem criticism by watchdogs -- not to mention class-action lawyers, who promptly sued those companies.

Now, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have released a new study, "Mobile Phones and Privacy," confirming what should have been obvious to app developers: The vast majority of people don't want to be snooped on by their apps.

Eighty-one percent of cell phone owners surveyed by UC Berkeley said they either "definitely" or "probably" wouldn't allow an app to collect a contact list in order to suggest more friends. An even greater proportion, 93%, said they definitely or probably wouldn't allow an app to collect friends' contact information in order to offer them coupons.

The study also found that people aren't thrilled with the prospect of location-based ads. A staggering 92% of survey respondents said they either definitely or probably wouldn't allow a cell phone provider to use their location to tailor ads to them.

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The authors say those findings indicate that people likely don't see eye to eye with marketers and merchants when it comes to mobile phone data. "This suggests that the value proposition offered to consumers by service providers ... should be especially clear and compelling for desired uses of mobile phone data," the report states.

The study was based on a survey of more than 1,000 cell phone users.

1 comment about "Mobile Users Don't Want To Share Data With Apps Or Carriers".
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  1. Darrell Ellens from Linkedin Group Mgr. "Daily Deal Industry" , July 27, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.

    Hi Wendy,

    Just thought you might want to know what we are working on. We don't track your friends nor do we even collect any of your personal information.

    nFluence empowers consumers to retake control of their digital presence. Marketers have spammed us to such an extent that it takes an average of 250 messages to reach just ONE consumer – leaving 249 recipients to ignore the message, often confused or annoyed that they were ever contacted in the first place.

    We have spent over two years working to remedy this glaring issue at hand. We've thought long and hard to devise a manner in which consumers can create their own anonymous profiles, called advertars™, and use them to personalize the information that comes their way. In this way, consumers are able to take back control… and use THEIR nFluence!

    Our patent pending technology, the Brand Sorter, allows the consumer to like or dislike various brands from a series of options. The process is fun, quick, and easy. From there, we draw conclusions from the data of over 50,000 consumers, which corresponds to the brands the consumer has selected… and that's how we create an anonymous profile for you! This unique persona, or advertar™, tells us all about your interests and preferences without you ever having to give us a single piece of your personal information.

    This process reveals none of your personal information, nor does it place you in a bucket where one size fits all – it is tuned around your INTERESTS, and it is 100% under your control.

    dealBoard is our first app, and it is aimed at resolving one big problem consumers face – the challenge of wanting access to great offers, discounts, and information without enduring interminable emails, texts, and junk mail from advertisers.

    With the release of dealBoard, we have succeeded in building a unique database of over 35,000 offers, drawn from restaurants, travel companies, retailers, and service providers across the globe. We filter this ever-revolving set of offers based on your location and the unique characteristics of your own, personal advertar™.

    Darrell in Vancouver

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