Concerns about convenience outweigh privacy concerns among mobile shoppers

Photo from IPMAP America

Last week, I found it interesting last week when I read through many articles written in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that were highly concerned with privacy. What makes this interesting is that in reading through recent writings, there actually are significantly fewer articles that express the same level of angst. Most seem to almost take the status quo regarding privacy as a given part of the fabric of our mobile world. Have we become complacent/accepting/resigned…or numb to the risks?

One 2011 article I did find expressed concern over a specific component of mobile privacy: locational data achieved by tracking a user through their phone (Daily Mail Reporter, 2011). This article is particularly concerned that Google (through the Android OS) and Apple capture data from users of their technology for the purposes of building data bases in order to tap into the rapidly growing market for location-based services.

Both companies claim that while they collect data from individuals, that it is aggregated and then scrubbed, since the purpose is more focused on activity around Wi-Fi hot spots than the actual phone owner themselves. Even if this is in fact true (and anyone who has watch Google eerily hone in on your search activity would have reason to question this), the fact that both companies have the technology to collect the data makes you realize it wouldn’t be a big leap forward to be able to continue to store it on a personalized, rather than a blended basis.

On a locational concern of a different dimension is the whole issue of cookies. While Google and Apple are tracking by capturing live transmission from phones back to their databases, cookies for the purpose of tracking browsing history on your mobile device present another danger. While they are great for speeding access to sites and providing a more seamless experience (Krum, 2010), the fact that they work by bypassing users names and passwords, can make theft of information that much simpler if a device is lost or stolen.

What do you think? To me it sounds like picking your poison when it comes to mobile convenience vs. privacy…

 

References:

How wide does this go? Now Google devices ‘found to transmit user locations back to the company’ (2011, April 22). The Daily Mail Reporter. Retrieved November 15,2011 from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1379597/Privacy-Googles-Android-HTC-mobile-phone-transmits-user-locations-company.html

Krum, C. (2010). Mobile marketing: Finding your customers no matter where they are. (pp. 99-100). Indianapolis, Indiana: Pearson Education, Inc.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: