- CTIA and its member companies know wireless consumer privacy is incredibly important, which is why we've worked together to proactively develop guidelines and best practices driven by transparency and choice to protect all mobile users, including kids.
- In addition, wireless companies comply with federal and state laws to protect adults and children when using mobile devices, such as:
- Consumers play a vital role in protecting their own privacy. It's imperative that consumers educate themselves before they, or their kids, use any product or service throughout the wireless ecosystem from apps to devices to websites to over-the-top (OTT) providers. This includes privacy policies, personal data stored either in the cloud or on the mobile device and advertising.
In today's wireless industry, consumers have a variety of choices from a number of companies, whether it's content developers, app creators, device manufacturers or the carriers. The assortment of options is why the U.S. wireless industry is robustly competitive and innovative. At the same time, consumers must take the time to review each app, service and product they use on their mobile devices to know how their personal information, including location, may be used.
To help consumers educate themselves, CTIA and its members have identified four privacy categories. If consumers do not want their privacy to be shared or known, many wireless companies allow users to opt-out (except for law enforcement purposes).
- Consumer data and privacy policies
- Consumer Code for Wireless Service – The participating carriers agreed to provide detailed and understandable privacy policies that state how they will use Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) as well as other data captured and how carriers prevent unauthorized access to CPNI.
- Location Based Services (LBS)
- While some may find LBS apps and over-the-top (OTT) services that identify the closest movie theater or provide door-to-door directions useful, others may view them as unnecessary. Consumers may choose to disable their location information on their devices as well as choose to not use those LBS apps or OTT services.
- In a proactive effort to promote and protect consumer privacy participating LBS providers developed and agreed to the Best Practices and Guidelines for Location Based Services in 2010. The 2012 Federal Trade Commission's Privacy Best Practices mirror this now familiar structure of Notice, Consent and Safeguards.
- In addition to LBS, consumers may find the advertisements on their mobile devices tailored to their unique interests. These advertisements may appear from their wireless carrier or a third party organization based on a variety of factors, such as the user' apps, Internet searches, location, etc.
- The Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising correlate to the Federal Trade Commission's February 2009 proposed tenants to create consumer-friendly online behavioral advertising standards across the Internet.
- Children and Privacy
- Some people, especially children, do not realize that sharing information through wireless data services is similar to sharing information on the Internet. As with anything shared on the Internet, there may be times when information may be used or seen in ways that were unintended.
- Parents should visit CTIA's and its members' Growing Wireless website, which explains applicable laws as well as what products and services can help protect their kids' privacy.
Last Updated: August 2012