BPA Featured Article

Do You Know 3rd Party Remote Call Monitoring is Happening Right Now via Your Smartphone?

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor
February 07, 2012

Let’s be honest: after you grab your house keys and wallet, what is the next thing you need for the day? Your phone of course – whether it’s an old school flip phone like mine or an Apple (News - Alert) iPhone with all the bells and whistles. However, do you know that marketers are tracking your behavior through 3rd party remote call monitoring and analyzing every website you land on, every picture you take and virtually every move you make on your phone?

According to a recent article featured on cbs42.com, cell phone companies know that you use your phone constantly and are storing your information to determine how they can better appeal to you via ads and promotions.

Mark Johnson, Loyalty Marketers Association said in a statement, "They (cell phone companies) know you were playing angry birds. They know that you drove by Sears. They know you drove by Dominos, so they can take that and take a very unique algorithm that can focus on your behavior. It's very impactful."

Your likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests are very interesting to cell phone companies and what’s kind of scary is that most people have no idea that this private information is even being cataloged and in some cases sold to third parties.

Harrine Freeman, a smartphone user, said, "It does seem creepy that companies are collecting all this information about consumers. I think it's an invasion of privacy. I don't think cell phone companies should sell your information."

Which cell phone companies are storing your information? Almost all of the biggest firms, with Verizon revealing that it in fact stores the information and then makes a profit from selling it to businesses while keeping user’s names confidential, or so they say.

Now if companies know what you like this could potentially stop you from being bombarded with ads that you could care less about. But, where does privacy factor in here? Although some cell phone companies tell customers what data they're collecting by sending them privacy notices, they are most often extremely complicated for the average user to comprehend.  

To see if your cell phone carrier is 3rd party remote call monitoring your every move, be sure to log onto its website and read its privacy policy.  In addition, any notice that the company sends in the future should be closely inspected due to the fact that tracking technology is constantly evolving.  

"The amount of data these cell phone companies have has grown tremendously over the last three to four years. With the rapid rise and proliferation of cell phones it will only continue to grow," Johnson concluded. 

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin