You are here: Home / News & Media / Putting Users First: How Can Privacy be Protected in Today’s Complex Mobile Ecosystem?

Putting Users First: How Can Privacy be Protected in Today’s Complex Mobile Ecosystem?

by Prasad Krishna last modified Sep 22, 2011 10:03 AM

Traditional approaches to ‘online privacy’ are often based on ‘compliance’ with a patchwork of local laws (where they exist). However, as new mobile services, applications and data flows become increasingly global, geo-graphically-bound laws appear unable to keep pace. Self-regulation has an important role to play in ensuring that mobile users’ privacy is treated consistently irrespective of the location of companies, the technologies and business models involved. A key challenge for industry is (a) to identify mobile-friendly ways of helping users make informed decisions about their information and privacy; and (b) to ensure user privacy is respected and protected by those designing and building the services and applications of tomorrow. 

The aim of this proposed workshop is to foster a constructive conversation around three key issues: 

  1. Are privacy challenges on the mobile platform different to the fixed-pc environment? [Particularly in the context of:
    Location privacy
    Behavioural Advertising 
    Applications and related services
  2. To what extent is mobile users’ privacy protected across technological and legal boundaries?
  3. What are different stakeholders doing, what can they do and what should they be doing to address these challenges?
Which of the five broad IGF Themes or the Cross-Cutting Priorities does your workshop fall under?
Security, Openness and Privacy
Have you organized an IGF workshop before? No
If so, please provide the link to the report:
No link to this report
Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite:
The GSMA is working to address these privacy related challenges and is also committed to helping establish and shape a culture of privacy that respects and protects the privacy of users across the mobile ecosystem. Its work is coordinated through the GSMA Mobile Privacy Initiative. Through this Initiative the GSMA has been working closely with Industry stakeholders, Regulators, Governments and NGOs globally. For this workshop, we would propose to invite a panel of 7-8 participants (including the moderator) which could represent the following stakeholder categories:
  • A Representative from GSMA (Pat Walshe, Director of Privacy) 
  • One mobile operator: Jeff Brueggeman (Vice President-Publiy Policy AT&T)
  • A rep from the online industry: (i) Patrick Ryan, Policy Counsel, Open Internet for Google Inc
  • A rep from an open source software developer: Ms Juliana Rotich, Executive Director of Ushahidi Inc 
Two Civil Society/ NGO representatives:
  • Sunil Abraham, executive director, The Centre for Internet and Society (India)
  • An academic (Ian Brown, co-director of Oxford University's Information Security and Privacy Programme )

Panel Moderator: Ambassador David Gross, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
Remote panel moderator: Yiannis Theodorou, Regulatory Policy Manager, GSMA
Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups:
  • Natasha Jackson: Head of Content, GSMA and Board member of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)
  • Pat Walshe: Director of Privacy, GSMA, Member British Computer Society, International Association of Privacy Professionals
The GSMA and its members actively participated in previous IGF workshops. GSMA has proven expertise and capacity to organise multi-stakeholder workshops and conferences – including the Mobile World Congress, Mobile Asia Congress, Government Mobile Forum every year, attended by tens of thousands of delegates and also organised a roundtable on mobile privacy at the 32nd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners held in Israel in October 2010.
The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.

Organization:GSM Association
Contact Person: Yiannis Theodorou, Regulatory Policy Manager, GSMA
Workshop Number: 75 
See the event details on the IGF website.
Filed under:
ASPI-CIS Partnership


Donate to support our works.


In Flux: a technology and policy podcast by the Centre for Internet and Society