New mobile phone handsets are likely to be subjected to far-reaching privacy rules, if network operators sign up to a new voluntary code.

The new rules would give smartphone owners more control over the data that mobile companies collect about them.

At the heart of the new guidelines will be a better understanding between consumers and mobile firms about what data the former are happy for the latter to share.

Many operators – including Vodafone – have already signed up to the new programme.

Andrew Bud, head of the Mobile Entertainment Forum, said that at the moment, mobile operators have no formalised means of logging their customers’ privacy preferences.

He noted: ” Mobile applications can use consumer data such as user location and address books to create great consumer value, but raise privacy concerns which we must address as an industry.”

Mr Bud added that without a technical solution to the problem, mobile phone owners would lose out.

Meanwhile, Chris Davies, general counsel at InMobi, which supports the new approach to mobile privacy, said industry-wide collaboration would help deal with the problem.

Posted by Samantha Green

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