MMA to Develop Privacy Guidelines

As the online privacy debate moves in on the $600 million mobile marketplace, the Mobile Marketing Association announced plans to develop a set of mobile privacy guidelines.

The news comes as online privacy is fast becoming the issue du jour in Washington, D.C., and Apple becomes the target of a class action suit.

Unlike the $25 billion online ad industry, which launched a self-regulatory program last fall, the mobile marketing industry is still in its infancy. But not for long. Growing at a rapid clip, mobile marketing should hit $1 billion in 2012, per eMarketer.

“If we’d seen how fast mobile Internet and apps were going to grow, maybe we would have stepped in sooner,” said Greg Stuart, who was named CEO of the MMA just three months ago. “It’s one of the basics and it needs to be addressed.”

Alan Chapell, president of Chapell & Associates and co-chair of the MMA Privacy Committee, will lead the MMA’s privacy initiative. The privacy policy framework will address how marketers should appropriately engage consumers through SMS, MMS, e-mail, voice, applications, mobile Internet, content and proximity channels.

Stuart didn’t have a timeline for completion of the privacy policy. “It’s more important that we get it done right. This release was a call to arms,” he said.