The Digital Advertising Alliance recently released guidance to provide further direction to companies operating mobile applications. The guidance applies to companies that engage in behavioral targeting, with use of cross app tracking to serve advertisements, app base tracking of geo location data, collection of address book information from social networking accounts, and behavioral tracking on mobile websites. Fundamentally speaking, the guidance remains the same; give notice and choice on mobile devices.
Any entity that is engaged in mobile on line behavioral advertising, geo location tracking, or the passive collection of address book information should understand these guidance principles. Failure to do so could result in action by the FTC, a private lawsuit, such as a class action, or other action being taken against you. While, in its simplest form, companies must merely give notice and choice on mobile devices, what that notice must entail in the choices that are to be provided to the consumers does vary depending upon the kind of activity done as part of the mobile tracking. For example, behavioral advertising in the application environment subject to an opt out scheme, whereas geo location tracking requires an opt in. In the event that a company employs an outside vendor to provide its mobile application, it should ensure that the mobile applications functionality complies with these principles and can ensure the necessary notice and choice is provided.