Facebook published a blog post revealing information about how their mobile app collects location data, in-app and in the background. Seemingly, this announcement intends to get ahead of iOS and Android software updates that will deliver push notifications to mobile users about how and when apps are using their data. It looks like these big tech companies are fighting to win the title of most compliant, transparent company regarding privacy, location data, and data sharing.
It’s All About Trust
This is about trust. But the best path forward is not one where companies deploy “gotcha” tactics to oust one another as non-compliant. This type of fear-mongering will dilute consumer trust of big tech as a while. It will not build trust for one company over another, as these tech giants intend. Rather, the best path forward is one where big tech works together, along with smaller companies, the government, and crucially, the public, to outline universal guidelines and protocol for privacy and data protection. Whatever those universal guidelines come out to be, their intention should be to provide users with control and transparency.
Location data is certainly a sensitive topic, but if big tech works together, and involves the consumer in the development of guidelines, the industry will achieve equilibrium. What does that mean for location data sharing? Most likely it means that there will be a balance between consumers, advertisers, government organizations, and big tech. At the end of the day, getting rid of data sharing altogether is not the answer. Better transparency is part of the solution, but it is not the be all, end all. At this point, the best we can do, as an independent ad tech company, is offer our stance.
Teemo Takes on Location Data Policy