The Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington-based think tank seeking to advance responsible data use and consumer privacy, and The Wireless Registry Inc., a global registry of wireless names and identifiers, have announced the launch of a new platform that will allow consumers to easily and quickly opt out of mobile location analytics at thousands of locations in the U.S.
Increasingly, facilities such as airports, stores and hotels use mobile location analytics technology to understand the traffic patterns of people in their venues. By learning and using insights, such as how long customers stand in line and how they generally move around an area, these facilities can enhance operational efficiency and improve user experience.
Mobile location analytics companies that have agreed to FPF's new Mobile Location Analytics Code of Conduct will honor the requests of consumers who wish to opt-out of having their location collected. Consumers opt-out by entering their phones' Wi-Fi or Bluetooth MAC address at www.smartstoreprivacy.org.
Once a consumer has opted out, participating companies will no longer associate information about that consumer's presence at a location with a MAC address. These companies will use that MAC address only to maintain the device’s opt-out status. The opt-out site went live on February 18th, and companies will begin processing opt-outs within 30 days.
The platform was built for the Future of Privacy Forum by The Wireless Registry, and will be operated under the direction of the FPF.
"[W]ith the use of data comes the obligation of committing to responsible privacy practices," said Jules Polonetsky, Executive Director, Future of Privacy Forum, in a press release. "With the Wireless Registry, we are pleased to join with the leading mobile analytics companies to offer consumers a choice about the use of these services."
FPF worked with the companies and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to develop a code of conduct, announced in October 2013, ensuring that appropriate privacy controls are available as companies seek to improve the consumer shopping experience.
Participating mobile location analytics companies in the code of conduct and opt-out website include Aislelabs, Brickstream, Euclid, iInside, Measurence, Mexia Interactive, Path Intelligence, Radius Networks, ReadMe Systems, Solomo, and Turnstyle Solutions.