Cell Phone Ads Slowed by Privacy Worries

Carriers love targeted marketing, but are afraid to tick you off
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 7:50 PM CST
GeoVector's "Buddy Finder" allows you to use a cell phone or PDA to locate a friend who is using the same technology through GPS locators.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – With the mobile Internet and GPS location-based services expanding, marketers and mobile phone companies are anxious to tap into a new level of targeted advertising. But, the AP reports, carriers are proceeding with caution in implementing the ads because they don’t want the perception of a privacy invasion to spook customers.

It’s a tricky balance: customers might like receiving a Starbucks promotion when walking by the coffee franchise, but find a slew of such ads invasive. And the Facebook “Beacon” fiasco has shown how targeting wedded to subscriber information can be an unwelcome mix. "The technology is absolutely there,” said one mobile ad exec. “The players have to become more comfortable. We believe they are doing so rapidly."