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Mobile app privacy: You get what you pay for

GSMA privacy-by-design guidelines embraced by carriers … but not app stores

Mobile app privacy controversies have dominated the technology headlines over recent weeks, but the push for tighter privacy standards may upset existing business models, which often use targeted advertising to subsidise the price users pay for the apps.

Last month it was discovered that iphone Path and Hipster were uploading user address book information without informed consent. Meanwhile Twitter was criticized because its privacy policy failed to explain that if users used the “Find Friends” feature on its iOS and Android clients – Twitter would store the user’s entire address book for 18 months. Days after this Facebook was obliged to deny that its iPhone app was reading private text messages.

“Giving users more transparency and understanding of data collection and giving them tools to opt-out is obviously going to impact on their targeted advertising business models. I think they are going to conveniently ignore these guidelines,”

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