Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you..

I’m not sure about how everyone else is feeling but Andreas Kaplan’s article ‘If you love something, let it go mobile: Mobile marketing and mobile social media‘ has left me feeling a little creeped out. Since reading the article I’ve gone through my phone and checked my privacy and location settings. Whilst modern marketing tactics (like those involved in mobile marketing) help streamline and target the most relevant and receptive audiences, the privacy and integrity of consumers is potentially compromised.


How I imagine mobile marketers. (Credit: giphy.com)


Kaplan briefly notes the issues of security and privacy in mobile marketing and references the site PleaseRobMe.com, in which users of site are provided live updates of social media users that have left their homes. I investigated the site (and found it was still up and running) and other related reviews and articles. Despite the site’s questionable name, the creators of PleaseRobMe.com deny that they are encouraging the burglary of homes and instead state that they are merely “raising awareness about sharing” and their goal is to “have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc“. Whilst I question the site’s principles, I’ve certainly been scared out of oversharing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.53.41 PM.png

PleaseRobMe.com, raising awareness of privacy through exploiting and endangering social media users.


Kaplan has identified ‘The 4 I’s of mobile social marketing’ (Individualise, Involve, Integrate and Initiate) that aims to direct marketers to create more engaging, less intrusive mobile marketing strategies. Although this advice is greatly beneficial to marketers and encourages more imaginative and appealing campaigns, further points should be added to ensure consumers don’t feel stalked.

The 4 concepts outlined in Entrepreneur.com‘s  article a “How Not to Get Sued When you Start Mobile Marketing” are a good starting point. The 4 points: Choice; Transparency; Control; and Security ensure marketers abide by Privacy Laws when collecting data and enable consumers to opt-out of the campaigns easily. It is a part of the Spam Act 2003, that all commercial messages must contain an unsubscribe link. However, even in my own experiences with mobile marketing, the option to opt out is only sometimes provided and often made difficult to navigate and complete. It’s quite a sneaky strategy and I believe it reflects poorly on the brand.

This weeks reading has certainly made me question the integrity of the brands I engage with through my phone. Our smartphones are personal devices, filled with personal details and private information. The access and use of this information should be done legally (obviously), and be handled with respect.

How open is your phone’s privacy settings? Do I sound like some psycho with a tin hat or are you concerned too?

— Psycho with Tin Hat





One Comment

  1. I had a similar reaction when I first read the Kaplan article as well. I didn’t realise how much personal information I was giving away just by using my smartphone and agreeing to the terms and conditions of my apps. I completely agree that businesses need to go beyond their legal obligations to ensure consumers don’t feel stalked. I’ve certainly had similar experiences as you when I struggle to unsubscribe to emails and newsletters from businesses, and this has given me a negative image of some businesses. But when it comes to mobile marketing which has really benefited me, it’s often from the businesses who have a lot of personal information on me, like my whereabouts at certain times of the day. For example I get updates from my phone company about data roaming when I go to the airport. Even though it’s a little creepy that they know my location, they use it to help satisfy my needs. I guess your article got me thinking whether I’m happy to give up some of my privacy to mobile marketing if it means I’ll be directly benefited.



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