It is likely very challenging to enforce, but information should be given and received via mobile devices with a large amount of care and proper legal backing/documentation.
Consumers need to be vigilant at seeking out and understanding a mobile device company’s or app developer’s privacy statement/policy. In turn, mobile device companies and developers – all who are involved in providing consumer services in that space – should make a concerted effort to create policies that are understood by consumers. In 2012 global marketing firm Siegel+Gale conducted a survey among 403 people to study “consumer perceptions and comprehension” of Google and Facebook’s privacy policies. The survey unearthed that the privacy policies are often tougher for consumers to understand compared with other legal documents known for being complex, like credit card agreements and government notices.
This should be the last thing happening as mobile continues to expand in popularity and evolves into a phenomenon we may have never seen before. Consumers need to understand what they are signing up for, and have the option to opt out if they so choose. The Managing Mobile Privacy infographic, shown here, was created by security firm Trend Micro. It basically visually sums up everything there is to know about privacy threats and the risks associated with mobile devices. There’s a lot more to think about than I realized! Items with a red “exclamation point” icon show privacy risks and threats. Items with a blue “thumbs up” icon indicate tips and best practices.
Not only how we use our current mobile devices can change, but also the types of mobile devices we will soon use is ever-changing as well. We all know Google Glass is on the verge of launching and Samsung’s Inspector Gadget-like wearable device, Galaxy Gear smart watch, has just hit the market this month.
What is of huge concern to privacy advocates as mobile evolves is that consumers may not be aware of the scale of data being collected, or how it may be used. User data, for example, could end up with companies that customize credit card offers based on consumers’ shopping habits, or insurance rates can be based on eating habits – all coming from data collected through wearable devices.
Talk about Big Brother is watching! Definitely cause for concern, but also fills me with a bit of excitement. I’m curious to see how the evolution of these devices will work to hopefully help and enhance – and not cause harm to – our lives.