Browsing histories on the web are valuable for advertisers who want to design better targeted ads. This makes it easier for advertisers to profile user preferences by tracking their virtual route on the internet. Physical tracking also gives marketers a way to trace the route of mobile users on the map – a valuable source of data for analytics companies.
Virus firm, AVG challenges this trend in profiling virtual and physical locations from mobile subscribers. The firm has introduced an Android app – PrivacyFix – which will block WiFi location tracking. PrivacyFix lets users manage privacy settings over various websites. The new update will block the transmission of the device MAC address thus limiting the amount of tracking advertisers can apply on your device.
Data analytics uses the GPS signature left by mobile devices to trace the route of mobile subscribers on the map. Apple’s iBeacon technology for instance utilizes past subscriber purchases to market to iOS customers. “The danger we face with applications and any of these things in general is there’s no context around what you’re doing on that device,” says Siobhan MacDermott, chief policy officer for AVG. “There’s a danger of profiling people in general.”