GSMA calls industry out on data harvesting

The GSM Association has moved to address growing consumer concern over the privacy of their online data, releasing a set of principles for operators of mobile data networks.
 
It hopes the principles will spur development of detailed guidelines and codes of conduct to protect subscribers from applications that harvest personal data or location information.
 
Ultimately, the principles will offer consumers easy ways to control the information they share with the wider world, the Association states.
 
With that in mind, one of the main principles announced yesterday covers openness regarding the information being collected, and why it is being collated. Other aspects covered include subscriber control, and the amount of time information is retained for.
 
“This is a call to action to the broader industry.” said Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer at the Association.
 
Consumer concern over the security of their data in the fixed world is growing, following problems with Google’s StreetView and data-harvesting apps on Facebook.
 
However Phillips said the problem will increase in the mobile world in coming years, particularly in developing markets where “consumer’s first internet experience will be via mobile.”

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