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Location Based Services: Best Practices Guidelines

compass.gifThe Wireless Association(R) today unveiled “Best Practices and Guidelines for Location-Based Services (LBS).” With strong support from the nation’s leading carriers and input from LBS providers and industry stakeholders, this voluntary initiative was developed to promote and protect consumer privacy through user notice and consent. (download)

Location Based Services have been a long time in development, and its clear there will be some major benefits to users when location information can be easily and cost-effectively blended in with a mobile service – whether it be search, social networks, advertising, navigation.

However, it is also clear location information is something that has to be handled carefully to avoid potential abuse, whether it be commercial abuse (e.g. unwanted sms adverts when you walk past a store), invasion of privacy, or even criminal abuse (e.g. if the information gets to stalkers or kidnappers).

The hallmarks of the Guidelines are user notice and consent. The Guidelines place a premium on these two fundamental principles because it is the LBS user whose privacy is most at risk if location information is misused or disclosed without authorization.

“Guarding the privacy of user location information is a top priority, and that’s why the wireless industry came together on a voluntary basis to establish these guidelines for location-based services,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association(R).

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Read the full press release HERE.

04.04.2008    Tags: ,
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