NEWS20 March 2014

FTC regulation of mobile tracking could impede privacy technology, says MRA

Government News North America

US — The Market Research Association (MRA) has said that FTC regulation of mobile device tracking could impede technological advancement related to privacy in that area.

In its response to the FTC’s recent workshop on the privacy implications of mobile device tracking, the MRA has said that “there is room for more innovation and we feel the FTC needs to allow the private sector time to figure it out.”

The comment referred to ideas presented at the workshop, and at another similar event, around developing technology to either disable mobile tracking or to find a straightforward way of informing customers of their privacy options. According to the MRA, “these kinds of advancements in thinking and technology are not likely to see fruition through FTC regulation.”

The MRA did, however, add that continued FTC enforcement of “clearly unfair or deceptive behaviour will help companies focus on new ways they can deliver desired advancements in both consumer privacy and business performance.” The association had already shown its support for a call last year to give shoppers the opportunity to opt out of tracking.

The MRA also outlined a need to educate consumers on how their phones operate – with regard to phones sending out regular signals and identifiers – “since there are minimal barriers to entry into the location tracking business.”

The full MRA response can be read here.