Canada Dashboard Digest

Opinion: With Apps, Where’s the Privacy?

MOBILE PRIVACY

January 27, 2012

In a column for The Globe and Mail, John Villasenor peers into the "mobile ecosystem" and finds that opting in to acquiring mobile apps "increasingly means opting out of privacy." A point of departure for Villasenor resides in mobile app privacy policies, which, he argues, "are designed, in part, to enable companies, in what the industry calls the 'mobile marketing value chain,' to extract as much information about you as possible in order to deliver targeted marketing and advertising." Villasenor cites "various linguistic sleights of hand" that enable marketers to sidestep consumer privacy--including privacy policies that consider unique device identifiers, usage patterns and location information as nonpersonal data. "Legal gymnastics aside," he writes, "it's hard to make a straight-faced argument that this information is not personal."
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