Customer data privacy detracts from merits of geofencing

Any time you remind people that they’re being watched, some of them are going to get nervous. If you download an app, you explicitly opt in to the program, but what about devices with pre-loaded apps? What about companies selling customer lists to each other, which we already know happens all the time?

There’s definitely the potential for abuse here and it’s really no wonder: The same technology that advertises shoe sales now was, and still is, used to monitor criminals under house arrest and to track delivery trucks to make sure they don’t stray from their routes. There’s always the possibility that some clever hacker can use location-based services as a back door to get in to any personal information [customers] have stored on their mobile devices. To be fair, this is true of any new technology. Exploits like that are going to be aggressively sought out and squelched.

In reality, regarding privacy concerns, our society has become so love-hate with sharing personal details that this is only going to be an issue for a small number of people. We use apps like FourSquare to tell the world where we are, we share pictures of what we’re doing via any number of services and we use Google Maps – which is actually a main component of a lot of geofencing initiatives – all the time. Google has to know where you are in order to tell you where you’re going. So, in a sense, Big Brother is all of us collectively.

Next Steps

New tools and technologies adjust sales analytics, CRM

Location-based apps present opportunities, data challenges

Using geolocation data to shape future campaigns

Dig deeper on Customer privacy and data security

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