The Signal: Mobile’s Privacy Nightmare

Mobile’s Privacy Nightmare: It was bound to happen. Last week’s privacy controversy over mobile phone tracking is just the start of a long conversation over the implications of powerful computers that are with us at all times, argues Tom Krazit. Location services are undeniably powerful but consumers are understandably skittish of their actual whereabouts getting tracked. Krazit says these services will make a big mistake of they take the online ad industry’s example: “push the privacy boundary, apologize, take a small step back (but not all the way), and repeat until we’re all 6 billion walking marketing sensors.” PaidContent
Could Apple Learn from Facebook?: There are two ways to view the recent privacy uprooar over the iPhone tracking and storing where users are. One is the of-course-they-are reaction and the other is to scream bloody murder. There seems little in between. Randall Stross takes a needed nuanced approach in putting Apple’s privacy predicament up against Facebook. Perhaps surprisingly, Facebook comes out looking good. Stross maintains that Facebok has made missteps in user privacy, but it’s been able to offer users many more options. Could Apple and other mobile players like Google do the same? The New York Times
End of the Road for Incentivized App Installs?: The pressure to bump up download numbers has led to many, well, aggressive tactics. One of the most controversial is the incentivized app download. The way it works is a user playing a game will get an offer of some kind of virtual currency or other reward on the condition he downloads another app. These apps are rarely used, but the numbers can boost the developer’s App Store ranking, drawing in real users. Gurkbash Chahal says the days of these shenanigans are coming to a close. The CEO of RadiumOne, to be fair a rival monetization system to the incentivized app install networks, argues this “house of cards revenue stream that was not sustainable.” Apple’s recent moves to rejigger how it ranks apps should be an end to it. TechCrunch
Mobile Has Arrived at eBay: The year of mobile is at hand for eBay. The auction giant said it is on track to record $4 billion in mobile sales during the year. PayPal alone has seen mobile use surge. Its mobile payment volume more than quintupled from 2009 to 2010, and is on pace to top $2 billion this year. Mobile Marketer
Pity Color: It’s rough in the Silicon Valley fishbowl. The amount of time between building up stars and tearing them down is getting short. Poor Color was drawing sneers almost from launch, mostly for the fact that the photo-sharing app had the audacity to raise $41 million before even releasing its product. Naturally the product itself has been picked to pieces by impatient reviewers expecting the next Big Thing. Now no less than Silicon Valley kingmaker Michael Arrington is asking “how many mulligans does Color get.” Arrington deems Color, which is a mere six old, “has already struck out.” Repeat: the product has been in the market six weeks. Crazy times in Silicon Valley. TechCrunch
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