Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apple is joining Facebook in Info Sharing

A recent Wall Street Journal article reveals that Apple apps are also selling users information to ad networks including Pandora, The Weather Channel,, and Paper Toss. According to Bloomberg reports, "some apps are also selling additional information to ad networks, including users' location, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views."

The worst offender was found to be TextPlus4. The WSJ reports that it "sent the phone's unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone's zip code, along with the user's age and gender, to two of them"

Ouch. We'll see if Android users catch wind of the lawsuit and file on of their own. Interestingly enough, most apps require that you agree to the terms and conditions, including information sharing. The problem is that 45 of 101 apps studied in the article, WSJ found that they did not have privacy policy.

The question is: how do marketers and advertisers get the information they want without violating user's privacy? And why weren't these companies following the integral rule of marketing to respect the user's privacy?

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