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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 18, 2012

Clear mobile privacy policies key to fostering consumer trust

Research into mobile privacy perceptions has found that, while consumers are more aware today than ever before of behavioral targeting, they don't yet trust or like it. Transparency, education and providing clear and easy-to-read mobile privacy policies will help build trust, says TRUSTe.

by Helen Leggatt

TRUSTe.jpgIn order to understand what mobile users today think about mobile privacy policy, TRUSTe polled over 2,000 U.S. adult mobile users, of which over half used smartphones.

They found that while there is far more awareness today of behavioral targeting and marketing, the vast majority (70%) did not like it nor did they want to be part of it. That is, however, unless mobile users are given more information as to why their personal data was being shared with advertisers.

Once educated as to why their data is being used, TRUSTe found that around 20 - 30% of mobile users became more comfortable with the process. They key is to be upfront and nurture trust, particularly when it comes to uses of location targeting, another major worry among mobile users.

One way to foster trust is to provide an easy-to-read and clear mobile privacy policy that can be easily viewed on a mobile device. "So many brands copy and paste privacy policies from online into their mobile apps, and these can be several thousand words long," Richard Qiu, TRUSTe's VP of mobile development, told DM News. "Nobody wants to read those."

FPF Logo.jpgA new study from think tank Future of Privacy Forum reveals that significantly more mobile app developers are now providing privacy policies for their apps and for how users' data will be used.

The number of free apps with a privacy policy in the iOS App Store doubled in the nine months to June 2012 from 40% to 84% and the number of paid apps with a privacy policy increased from 60% to 64%.

On Google Play, where the number of free apps with a privacy policy was already relatively high at 70% back in September, 2011, the number stood at 76% as of June this year and paid app privacy policies went from 30% to 48%.

Earlier this year the Mobile Marketing Association released privacy policy guidelines for mobile apps.

Tags: behavioral targeting, mobile marketing, mobile trends, privacy concerns, privacy policy

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