Behavioral marketing has benefits, McCaskill tells Senate colleagues

Share this article:
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

Behavioral marketing provides value to consumers, said US Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) during a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on May 19. McCaskill's opinion contrasted with those of her upper chamber colleagues, who spent much of the mobile privacy hearing discussing location tracking.

In response to concerns about location monitoring, McCaskill cited Apple's capability to find lost or stolen mobile devices by using its location services and to enable consumers to remotely erase their stored data.

Representatives from Google, Facebook, Apple and the Federal Trade Commission testified on companies' collection of consumer information via mobile devices.

Last week, Google and Apple participated in a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on mobile privacy in the wake of news reports that the companies track and store location data from devices running their respective mobile operating systems. In both hearings, Apple and Google denied tracking devices' locations without consumers' consent.

David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the FTC is focused on mobile applications that track devices' locations with no relation to the app's functionality.

“The litmus test [for location tracking on mobile devices] would be functionality,” he said.

“Consumers want control of their personal information, and they have that right,” said US Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who organized the hearing as Senate Commerce Committee chairman. He introduced Do Not Track legislation May 9 calling for an opt-out mechanism that would apply online and on mobile devices.

McCaskill challenged senators' statements that a majority of consumers are concerned about their online privacy.

“Asking consumers if they value their privacy is like asking if they love their country,” she said. “Of course they're going to say ‘yes.'”

McCaskill said the subcommittee members should not let privacy concerns distort the value that opted-in behavioral marketing provides consumers and companies.

“The [business model of the] whole Internet is behavioral marketing,” she said.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

Featured Listings

More in Digital Marketing

Target Better With Facebook, Sandberg Tells Marketers

Target Better With Facebook, Sandberg Tells Marketers

In earnings call, the COO claims Facebook is 44% more accurate than the industry average at targeting and promises increasing investment in ad tech.

Day One on the DMA2014 Show Floor

Day One on the DMA2014 Show Floor

Sprouting from the Direct Marketing Association convention today were retargeting refinements, rules for breach behavior, and, yes, some darn fine Brussels sprouts.

Customer Identity in the Digital Age

Customer Identity in the Digital Age

Industry experts explore the value in a person's cyber identity for marketers.