Big-Name Players Team for Location-Based Internet

Internet ad firm DoubleClick Inc.
is providing the advertising piece of the puzzle in new alliance aimed at
developing location-based mobile Internet applications.


The group of companies, which includes Phone.com, Amazon.com,
DoubleClick, In-Fusio, and Go2Systems, is teaming to exploit
Phone.com’s technology, which allows the company to track a person’s
location when she’s using a wireless device.


DoubleClick is helping create location-sensitive advertisements; Amazon.com
is working to develop location-sensitive commerce applications; In-Fusion is
making location-based games; and Go2Systems is looking at community and
content applications.


Advertising that changes based on a user’s location has been one of the
much-talked-about capabilities of the wireless Internet, the idea being that
an advertiser could reach a customer when he was most likely to buy.
Critics, though, say such capabilities will disappoint, because a person’s
location may not say much about his state of mind and likelihood to
purchase.


Another difficulty with this kind of service — privacy. After all, do you
really want a company to know your every move? But Phone.com says its system
lets consumers control access to their personal information.


“Phone.com sets an important precedent for the management of user privacy
for the wireless Internet by requiring companies to request a consumer’s
permission before their location may be used,” said Jamie Byrne, director of
emerging platforms for DoubleClick.


“By giving consumers control of the usage of their data, the mobile location
server protects user privacy while providing carriers, wireless publishers
and companies like DoubleClick with the tools to deliver highly targeted and
relevant content, services and advertising. We look forward to working with
Phone.com and privacy groups to ensure wireless advertising meets the
standards of fair information practices.”

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