During a panel discussion on privacy at the IAB’s Mobile Engage conference, ICO manager of business and industry Evans said: "Consumers are not interested in privacy but they become interested if you get it wrong".
He added: "If you give them what they want but you get it wrong in the process then they [consumers] start to care where the data came from".
Evans cited the example of a friend who complained about a company texting him about the mis-selling of PPI insurance, who still ended up contacting the company and using its services.
Alex Newman, head of mobile at OMD, claimed people are "not very aware of the data we freely give away to companies, how it is stored and if it’s stored".
Newman argued that the only way mobile advertising can be really effective is through the use of data and if brands use data "there is a whole lot of education that needs to happen".
Evans agreed that education is needed but believes that this education needs to move away from complex discussions about issues including cookies and towards how customer’s mobile data is used.
At the moment knowledge around privacy is largely confined to the mobile industry with the greater public not understanding how data is used, said Newman.
Newman cited the AdChoices logo, which websites use to flag how behavioural data is used for advertising, and said: "I genuinely believe outside the industry not a lot of people know what it means."
When asked during the privacy panel to vote on whether "consumers have enough tools to protect mobile privacy", the audience of 650 mobile marketers overwhelmingly disagreed with the statement.
The vast majority of the audience also agreed that "businesses need to put in place a mechanism to protect mobile privacy".
Concerns about privacy raised by mobile marketers come in the same week the Sunday Times reported that research firm Ipsos Mori had offered to sell EE data on individuals’ location to The Metropolitan police, an accusation Ipsos Mori refutes.
David Sear, the chief executive of the Weve mobile marketing joint venture from EE, Vodafone and O2, reassured marketers about the anonymity of Weve’s data.
Speaking after the privacy panel, he said: "We may know a lot about you, but we will never know who you are…you’ve got the opportunity to say no and opt out."
Separately, Sear revealed Weve was doing a closed-test mobile wallet experiment using both NFC and QR codes with three independent merchants in North London.