Mobile Company Tune Taps Truste Vet For Chief Privacy Officer

Mobile analytics company Tune, formerly HasOffers, has tapped Truste veteran Saira Nayak to serve as chief privacy officer.

Nayak, who joined the 215-employee Tune last week, is tasked with ensuring that its privacy and security practices are up to date. She also says she will develop a set of “best practices” for Tune's advertising clients and ad-network partners.

“I want to get to a point where we are a leader in terms of the practices we espouse -- whether what we're doing, or what we're recommending our clients and partners can do,” Nayak says.

Nayak adds that although she doesn't expect to examine the privacy policy of all company's advertisers and ad networks, she hopes to inform them of some privacy basics -- like requiring consumers' express consent before collecting location data.

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The Seattle-based company also intends to roll out a “preferred partner” network, says CEO Peter Hamilton. He says he hopes the program will “show who is setting an example for the industry” in terms of privacy. The initiative, still in development, would involve some form of public recognition for the companies that follow Tune's best-practices standards.

Hamilton says the company began searching for a chief privacy officer in March, shortly after the company was removed from Facebook's mobile ad measurement program. Facebook reportedly threw out Tune for keeping data too long and failing to ensure that its clients disclosed their privacy practices to consumers.

Tune's attribution analytics is aimed at helping advertisers understand how their ads influence consumers, Hamilton says. For instance, Tune's data can show whether consumers viewed a particular mobile campaign, then downloaded an app and made purchases.

Tune doesn't itself “own” the attribution data it gathers or use that to target consumers. But Tune's clients are free to draw on the analytics data for targeting campaigns, Hamilton says. “Definitely, there are lots of things that marketers can do to utilize the value of their own data,” he says. “Part of the reason why we're bringing in a chief privacy officer is to try to show the value of being clear about your privacy policy.”

Tune's decision to hire a privacy officer “shows the coming of age of mobile,” says Jules Polonetsky, executive director of the think tank Future of Privacy Forum. “It's a sign of maturity for this industry that some of the smaller players that are starting to get scale are putting senior capacity in place.”

 

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