Mobile Marketing Association Plans To Develop Comprehensive Self-Regulatory Privacy Guidelines

On December 20, 2010, the Mobile Marketing Association (“MMA”) announced its plans to develop comprehensive self-regulatory mobile privacy guidelines.  In doing so, the MMA has summoned media companies, mobile carriers, and marketers for assistance.

The MMA has emphasized mobile privacy issues such as transparency and “privacy by design” in self-regulatory principles, areas recently identified by the Federal Trade Commission’s “proposed online privacy framework” as requiring vast improvement.  The MMA has also proposed best-practice recommendations with regard to ways companies can enroll consumers in mobile device promotions and present terms of service.

A common framework pertaining to how marketers and media companies collect, manage, and use personal data pertaining to mobile engagements with consumers is vital to sustain consumers within the mobile telecommunications sector.  The proactive approach adopted by the MMA has been taken in recognition of the advantages of privacy enhancing practices and self-regulation over prescriptive rules and regulations.  The CTIA International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry has also jumped on board to assist with the development of mobile specific privacy principles and best-practices, as has privacy trustmark service TRUSTe, who has recently launched a mobile-specific privacy certification for mobile applications.

In the face of new technologies, the advancement of consumer privacy protection is in sharp-focus, nationally and abroad.  The self-reglatory efforts of the MMA will hopefully go a long way to shape privacy protections that best serve the interests of consumers while not unduly restricting innovation.

Richard Newman, Internet Law and Telecommunications Attorney – Hinch Newman, LLP

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