Your Mobile Carrier Will Sell You for Pennies

17 thoughts on “Your Mobile Carrier Will Sell You for Pennies”

  1. Privacy is a huge concern as you point out. But if they are smart, the behavioral targeting will work on an opt-in basis. If you opt-in, it could work as a customer loyalty progrem…rewards in return for mining behavior. If you choose not to opt-in then no rewards and no data mining.

  2. This is just truly incredible, and shames the UK for all the world to see.

    No communication company should ever reveal to a third party the sender, recipient, or content of a communication that is entrusted to them. And in the case of mobile telcos that data includes the location of sender and recipient too.

    Its a concept called client confidentiality, and when you betray that trust you can expect your arrogance will leave your reputation in shreds.

    Opt in is a nonsense. You need consent from both parties to make this legitimate, for reasons of copyright, and economic espionage.

    I’m truly ashamed and appalled by what is happening in to the UK Communication industry.

    Its an utter disgrace to a nation formerly considered a free country. Please avert your eyes while we try to remediate this issue by prosecuting those responsible.

  3. There should be quite a howl going on right now throughout America about any companies colluding in the creation of applications based on “the surveillance business model.” Sadly, repercussions from the economic crisis seems to be occupying most of the available gray matter if not the time, of those who best know how and would dare to use it to incite protections of our right to privacy so cherished by Americans. Peggy Noonan, where are ye?

  4. I think Opt-in is the only way to do these type of programs. If the value is clearly explained to the customer it seems like it could be a good thing? Lower priced services and better ad or offers. ?

    What I’d like to understand or read more about here are the other potential down sides to having behavioral targeting (or whatever you want to call it). Does it stand to reason that if you are not doing anything bad (A-Rod) than you shouldn’t really worry? Or is this being naïve.

    Safe travels

  5. Opt-in is a “Red Herring” when it comes to this type of Web traffic or Mobile Phone Network “Interception”!

    The Web User or the Mobile Client “cannot legally” Opt-in either the Website (which often contains Copyright, Financial or other Commercial Data!) or the recipient of the call from the Mobile Phone either Website/Mobile User or even Landline User!

    This breaks Wiretap Laws, Telegraph Laws & many other Laws!

    This sort of lack of respect for Personalities Information & “the Systematic Disrespect” for Organized Civilization is far too similar to the 1930’s & what did that lead to!

  6. I didn’t see any mention in the GSMA announcement of data being sold, pooled or otherwise made available – http://www.gsmworld.com/newsroom/press-releases/2009/2532.htm
    It looks like they are simply trying to provide statistics similar to what is provided by ComScore and Quantcast, but organized around mobile access rather than direct access.

    What did you find that showed the availability of data more detailed than “[…] popular sites, ranked by number of visitors, page impressions, time and duration of visits.”?

  7. Gee Om… don’t imagine you might be using any ad management services on your sites that track my online behavior now do you? Oops!!!!

    Paranoia will drive you crazy.

  8. Is the intent similar to what neuralitic.com does? I doubt carriers are capable of executing on user data even if they have been sitting on it forever – Telco history is witness to that.

  9. Have talked to the guys involved at MWC (incl. GSMA), and it’s clear that the data supplied by the networks is doubly anonymised and summarised before it leaves the network, there is no trace of any individual identity in there so impossible to use for direct marketing or behavioural targeting of a single person – privacy is fully respected. There is no question of any original data being ‘out on the net’.

  10. I reckon what happens is…

    1. a company or X companies do something (possibely illegal) contentious..
    2. there’s a big fuss about it (well, only if someone spots it)
    3. they withdraw it – but only after the damage is done..

    Do you see a trend?
    Its always “shoot first ask questions later”, because legally they could argue it and string it along until what needs to be done is completed.

    Do you even hear about the project being rolled back.. not just stopped, but any traces removed?
    They get a slap on the wrist but thats it.

  11. Phelix_da_Kat at al, you may ‘reckon’, but you need to know the FACTS. As mentioned, I’ve talked to the people involved, and the legal hurdles imposed by the GSMA to ensure no personal identities are used in the process were severe. The measurement/analysis companies imvolved are under no illusion that ‘selling the data’ is not going to happen. What their businesses do is sell the resulting reports, all based on, and I repeat, anonymised and summarised data.

  12. @KW

    Being Doubly anonymized begs the REAL question!

    At some point Personal Data was “illegally intercepted & examined” (ACCESSED); the anonymizing done afterwards in order to hide this is “irrelevant!

  13. It’s called make a “Good Law” then contrive to ignore it & say it doesn’t matter the data has been anonymized (too trite!)

    http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Primary&PageNumber=6&NavFrom=2&parentActiveTextDocId=0&activetextdocid=2926035

    48
    Interception and disclosure of messages
    (1)
    A person commits an offence if, otherwise than under the authority of a designated person—
    (a)
    he uses wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message (whether sent by means of wireless telegraphy or not) of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, or
    (b)
    he discloses information as to the contents, sender or addressee of such a message.
    (2)
    A person commits an offence under this section consisting in the disclosure of information only if the information disclosed by him is information that would not have come to his knowledge but for the use of wireless telegraphy apparatus by him or by another person.

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