Indoor Location & Privacy: Steering Clear of the ‘Creepy Line’

In the nascent indoor location ecosystem, marketers are just beginning to wrap their heads around the access to location data and its implications for digital media. Consumers are even less aware, if at all. Did you know, for instance, that retailers can know exactly how long you spent in a store, if you’re a new or repeat shopper, and what aisles you visited simply by having wifi enabled on your smartphone?

The afternoon session of the Place Conference in NYC discussed these very issues in a panel titled  “Indoor Location & Privacy: Steering Clear of the ‘Creepy Line’.” While there were plenty of industry experts weighing-in, including an FTC attorney and the Executive Director of Future of Privacy Forum, they were quick to point out that there is no specific legislation relating to location based marketing, just guidelines…at least for the time being. There are some basic best practices, however.

Notice – Provide consumers with privacy notices that are clear, short, and standardized to enable comprehension and comparison of privacy practices. The exception to this is collecting data that is not unique to the device, including counting the total number of times unspecified mobile devices have been detected by a network.

Opt-Out – Give consumers a centralized site to opt-out and receive more information. Any notices should link to this site.

Opt-In – Receive opt-in when personal information is collected or when a consumer will be contacted