Mobile Wallet Technology Raises Privacy, Security Concerns

Your smart phone already serves as a portable office, media player, newspaper, GPS, camera and social network hub. Now it can replace your wallet, too.

Privacy advocates worry that the emergence of “mobile wallet” technology will leave consumers more vulnerable than ever to identity theft and invasive data collection.

“It’s kind of a privacy tipping point, because one single device knows wherever you go your geographic history, your social media connections and your financial behaviors,” said Jeffrey Chester, the executive director of the nonprofit Center for Digital Democracy.

Technologies offer convenience and real-time deals to consumers while allowing companies to better track customer behavior and test marketing strategies.

Mobile payments already are widely used in many developing countries, where cash is scarce and the technology allows people to transfer money safely over long distances, avoiding theft and bribes.

Story by Lindsay Wise for McClatchy Newspapers.

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