If Location-Based Services indeed might be moving to be more “context” based (and in last week’s blog I described “context” as having to involve some kind of database to make the service more relevant to you), then are there any potential privacy issues associated with this? Likely there are, and many of them can be resolved if the user wants “context” and therefore opts in to obtaining this context since the user would see a value to it.
With the advertisement example, I can see a user opting in for certain types of restaurant ads or promotions. For instance, if I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee person and would never get a Starbucks, then why would I want a Starbucks ad coming to my phone? Or maybe I would want it coming to my phone since the only way I’d ever try a Starbucks is if it was on sale. But if I didn’t want that ad coming, would I consider that “spam” and then have issues with it? Clearly, we’ve all gotten “spam” mails and we tolerate them, but there is no way I’d tolerate that type of “spam” to my mobile phone given the mobile phone is more of a personal possession.
Clearly, as Location-Based Services grow, privacy issues will surface, which is not uncommon as a new technology and service occurs. Opt-in will likely help but that isn’t the entire answer.