Privacy/Briefing/Mobile Advertising

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Mobile Advertising

This is a privacy briefing on the topic of mobile advertising. Below you will find a summary of the issues, privacy goals, and privacy questions. You may also find relevant examples.


  • no industry standards
  • no US privacy laws
  • data collection viewed as intrusive and aggressive
  • users viewed as unaware
  • increased risk as cybercriminals shift to mobile platforms

Privacy Goals

  • Give power back to users (choice)
  • No surprises (transparency)

Privacy Questions

  • what kinds of user data is collected?
  • how does that data get used and/or shared?
  • is notice to data owners sufficient?
  • does it do more than users might expect?


An app may collect more information than a user may expect. For example, a caller ID app may:

  • identify callers (expected)
  • collect user's contact list (unexpected)
  • collect user's GPS location (unexpected)
  • disclose personal phone numbers without permission (unexpected)
  • have the ability to send text and email from user's phone (unexpected)