Permission Marketing Helps Privacy Get Teeth

Permission and privacy are walking hand-in-hand. This is good news for brands. A new bill proposed by U.S. senator Al Franken, calls for users to be allowed to grant explicit permission for companies to access their location data in order to advertise to them. No longer would users of iPhones, for example, have to surrender their location info by default when selecting an cool app.

What Franken’s bill proposes is that there be a stage whereby the user grants consent for their location information to be shared with third parties which, if passed, could have a huge impact for location ad providers on mobiles. The proposed bill would affect both service providers and developers.

It’s gratifying to see that privacy has finally taken hold as a new norm in digital culture. It took a while. Think back on how often people quoted Scott McNealy’s admonition dissing the movement toward privacy: “Privacy…get over it!”

Now, for the first time, a bill has been proposed in relation to mobile privacy and it represents an important shift as we move to a permission-based economy. The bill is titled the “Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011” and the title alone shows how pervasive local social networking has become and the legal implications this has as the service develops.

Franken’s bill could set the tone for making privacy and permission a required combination in the digital economy, which will become paramount as social media marketing develops.