Carriers, privacy and location-based social networking services

LBS 360 has a good overview of European Mobile Mapping Trends summarized by Michael Fisher. The whole piece is about how Mobile Network Operator (MNO - or "carrier") perceive the field and will be likely to shape it in the near future. I was mostly intrigued by that part:

"Privacy issues, as you would expect, arise when offering most any location service and especially social networking related services. It would seem that offering FREE services raises skepticism instantly in some areas of Europe. This coupled with advertising and social networking appears to raise further concern. Many European government organizations have officially weighed in on the topic as a means to educate the public and declare rights associated with data protection and the power to audit organizations providing location-based services. In the case of network location-based services, this only applies to the carrier, as this technology only takes raw network data from the carrier and returns a more precise location back to the carrier.

Another major privacy matter looms on the horizon in Europe regarding intelligence that can be derived from mobile advertising; it is known as "behavioral tracking." Simply said, advertisers would benefit greatly from understanding not only what ads are most popular but where customers responded to these ads. For the most part, it's no different here than in the United States - addressing public concerns of privacy is a matter of education and documented disclaimers. "

Why do I blog this? although I don't know which data supports the various claims here but there are some good thoughts about people's perceptions related to privacy issues. In particular it's relevant to note that "free" services raise more eyebrows.