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Privacy advocates seek limits on mobile marketing

January 13, 2009 by  

Mobile phone technology is developing quicklyPrivacy advocacy groups have said they will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission urging it to adopt rules and safeguards related to the mobile advertising industry.

In particular, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group have pointed to Google’s new Android platform as a "sleeping giant" that could threaten people’s privacy by surreptitiously collecting user data.

Android has the ability to collect cookies, which are identifiers of particular users and their browsing history. If installed on a phone with geolocation technology, the groups argue that Google could potentially track users’ locations, as well as internet habits.

Jeffrey Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy told Forbes he does not have a specific complaint about Google’s behavior, but he feels the company has not fully addressed privacy concerns before rolling out their new product.

"People don’t really understand what’s about to emerge: A new kind of data collection and advertising, with huge implications for privacy," he told the news provider.

It remains to be seen how the Obama administration will respond to privacy concerns in an age of rapidly developing technology.
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