This is the summary of an article by Unibul, which talks about the high profile mobile payment systems that are popping up, with their main core focusing on geographically tracking consumers. It also talks about the legality of this type of data sharing, and gauges consumer sentiment regarding the service, which, it turns out in the survey, they strongly oppose. Here’s the link to the original behavioral targeting article: Mobile payments, Location Tracking and Consumer Privacy.
These days, the current trend among advertisers and marketers is the tracking of a customer’s geographical location. Google, for instance, has been designing a digital wallet that can determine a user’s location through his or mobile phone. It can also gather data about the person’s purchasing behaviour. The information can then be passed on to merchants, who could utilize the information in customizing product offers to be sent to potential buyers.
In this regard, a question is raised pertaining to how customers would react to being tracked. Likewise, how would they feel if their contact information is passed on to various parties? The matter of legislation addressing such matters is also of the utmost importance. Hence, a study done by University of California researchers aims to learn more about the issue.
Unsolicited Texts: Are they Legal?
The study explains that the information collected regarding the purchasing behavior of mobile phone users will eventually result in the increase of unsolicited marketing messages. Advertisements that are typically sent via email could also be sent as text messages. And even though these promotions have been designed to target specific users, some might wonder about their legality. In this case, the researchers note that the practice is actually not illegal.
Based on existing rules about privacy, information can be shared with other parties, such as advertisers, even without the consent of the mobile device user. The data can also be used for research, marketing, and other purposes. Once example would be a social network service that has a built-in payment system; their database can keep track of transactions and other data.
Mobile Tracking: What do Users Think?
Today’s technological advancements make it very possible to track a mobile phone user. When a mobile device is Wi-Fi enabled, it emits signals that can then be tracked. Consequently, the online activities of the user can be determined using these signals and other information.
In relation to this, the University of California researchers have made a survey seeking to know how mobile phone users feel about tracking. Their findings show that generally, people are against the sharing of their personal data. In fact, two thirds of those who were surveyed are opposed to sharing even their email addresses.
Mobile Wallets: Would Consumers Like It?
Given the survey results, it would be even more interesting to find out how consumers would react to mobile wallets, once they are launched. Examples of these are Isis and Google Wallet. At the moment, it can be speculated that there are people who will definitely not like them. On the other hand, there just might be a lot of people out there who would not mind receiving marketing messages on their mobile phone and other devices.