Rating: Advertising network issues resolute rebuttal to Channel 4 show
Velti/Mobclix has respond to a story that ran on the UK’s Channel 4 News sounding a privacy alarm on Android apps sharing personal data with advertisers and alluding to the possibility that Mobclix facilitates the storage of private user data. The TV programme provided the basis for this earlier GoMo News story. Mobclix points out that the entire programme only suggests that it’s ‘possible‘ for all kinds of bad things to happen with user data on mobile devices, specifically when users download apps that use networks to target advertising. The reporter cites no actual evidence that a network indeed is compromising user privacy in this way.Here the actual facts as Mobclix sees them …
1. Mobclix has never attempted to access private or sensitive information and Mobclix certainly do not capture and record that data. App developers and users must grant access to the data and provide it to Mobclix for use. There is no backdoor or secret access to sensitive information.
2. Mobclix says it has access to the same exact information as all major mobile advertisers. There is no reason to single us out amongst our competitors. Mobclix has never captured information about users’ contacts, calendars and location without expressed permission from users.
3. There is no reason to single out marketing/advertising companies with this general permission discussion. Every single mobile app has access to some set of user data in order to function that the user has consented to, and whether the app uses advertising or not it’s a potential security risk. There are tons of apps in the Android market that have more access to sensitive data than any app that is using advertising.
4. Android permissions often grant access to chunks of information rather than a single piece of data. Therefore, in some cases, apps need a permission to access a single piece of data, but because of Android’s permission system, they technically have access to other stuff. There is nothing Mobclix can do about that.
Also, Mobclix does not require the permissions linked to any of the PII listed in the article:
If the developer has either of these enabled, Mobclix makes these available for use for Rich Media (but does not actively collect them).
If the developer has either of these enabled, Mobclix collects this information in its ad request.
For further info on Android permissions, read our blog post explaining why third party SDKs need certain permissions.
Mobclix hopes that this will serve to clear up any confusion its customers and app users in general may have about the way ad networks on our exchange work with personal data.
More information on the Velti blog here.