AVG’s new mobile tool hinders both advertisers & retailers

But the firm still asks the mobile industry’s bible (GoMo) to publicise it

When a company produces a new app to block retailers from tracking smartphones, you’d think it might do a bit of research. But no. Instead AVG (purveyor of mobile security software highly recommended by GoMo News) asked us to run a video explaining how retailers are sinisterly tracking the movements of smartphone users through retail stores. But consumers can prevent this happening thanks to the new ‘Wi-fi Do No [sic] Track’ feature within the AVG PrivacyFix app for Android. This app suspends Wi-fi on a user’s smartphone when out and about.

The app only reconnects when he or she is close to trusted Wi-fi locations. Such as the home or office. Hang on what’s this about a favourite coffee shop, too, AVG?

This is bizarre. How come the likes of Costa Coffee are suddenly friendly retailers in AVG’s mind?

Anyway, as a publication which is “at the top of several search engines for terms such as mobile advertising companies, mobile social network sites, mobile advertising list and mobile ad companies”, ¬†according to our own media pack – we still can’t stop giggling.

Why would we want to mention an app that “stops smartphones from transmitting their unique MAC address which retailers and marketers have begun using to track the movement of shoppers based on physical location”?

Sorry? That’s precisely what GoMo News wants smartphone users to be doing so the industry can target is mobile ads more effectively and prevent the delivery of unwanted ads.

AVG warns that, “Retailers are using the information to count visitors in their shops, optimise store layouts or measure the effectiveness of mobile advertising.”

Actually, GoMo News is trying to help encourage more retailers to do exactly that and more efficiently.

Ah. We’ve just spotted AVG’s beef. According to AVG Technologies’ CEO, Gary Kovacs, “The problem is that consumers have limited notice of these activities; often no opportunity to opt-out; and many may not realise they are even being observed in this way.”

In other words, the mobile advertising industry isn’t making it crystal clear what’s going on. Whereas AVG is always straightforward with consumers, is it?

Does it widely publicise the fact that here are perfectly good versions of its apps and software which are totally free? Um, No. But we do. Visit http://free.grisoft.com.

Anyway, we can’t resist AVG’s entreaties to run the video associated with this new release. We trust that GoMo News readers will ‘boo’ the bad guys in all the right places whilst they watch it.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Mobile Ad&Mktg, Mobile applications, Wifi, android, mobile security and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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