Mobile Marketing Group Issues Privacy Guidelines

NEW YORK — In attempt to protect consumer privacy, the Mobile Marketing Association issued guidelines Tuesday on location-based targeting, or the practice of using geographical-sensitive technology to beam messages to a consumer based on their location. The MMA is a trade organization that represents advertisers and agencies, among others, such as Lot 21, AT&T Wireless, AvantGo and Ogilvy Interactive, that engage in advertising or marketing on mobile devices.

As part of the suggested guidelines, the MMA recommended that its members not merge personally identifiable information with a mobile subscriber’s location information without their consent. The MMA also said that mobile marketers should not share information with third-parties without a subscriber’s consent.

In addition, the organization said that mobile marketers should let consumers know if they are using anonymous or aggregate location information for marketing purposes. Finally, the MMA suggested that mobile marketers allow subscribers to opt-out of programs at any time, even if they have already agreed to receive marketing messages.

“With these suggested guidelines, we are initiating discussion on what needs to be done so that mobile marketing can continue to expand and be a viable option for both operators and marketers alike,” said Barry Peters, vp, emerging media and relationship marketing for Carat Interactive, and chair of the North American MMA privacy initiative.