Mobile Advertising Disclosrues panel at FTC workshop.
Alliance Senior Advisor Tim Sparapani Discusses Online Advertising and Privacy Disclosures
Washington, D.C. (May 30, 2012) -- Today, I attended the Federal Trade Commission's workshop on the future of online advertising and privacy disclosures. The FTC was examining whether to update their guidance on what advertisers and online businesses need to tell consumers and noting the challenges posed by social media and smaller screens on mobile devices. Many of the speakers spoke about this as a privacy problem and tried to wrongly single out apps for blame.
I believe what we have here is a User Interface (UI) problem more so than a privacy issue. Quite simply businesses—whether on TV, in print advertising, or on the Internet have never solved this problem. Even in an era of media saturation, businesses do not know a great deal about how to communicate complex choices to audiences of different ages, with widely varying levels of sophistication, uneven language skills, etc. This is particularly challenging in the app industry where we are providing consumers with brand new experiences, entertainment and tools that they may never have encountered before.
This UI issue—shared by all types of media—may contribute to problems with privacy, but the solution lies first and foremost with the interface. That's a problem that no part of our industry has been able to effectively solve. It is unfair to single out mobile usage when the problem spans all digital usage.