Posts tagged Location-Based Services.
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On January 18, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposed order against geolocation data broker InMarket Media (“InMarket”), barring the company from selling or licensing precise location data. According to the FTC’s charges, InMarket failed to obtain informed consent from users of applications developed by the company and its third-party partners.  

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On September 14, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a $93 million settlement with Google, LLC (“Google”) resolving alleged violations of California’s false advertising law and unfair competition law.

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On November 14, 2022, Google LLC (“Google”) agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with the attorneys general of 40 U.S. states over the company’s location tracking controls available in its user account settings.   

The investigation by the state attorneys general found that, between 2014 and 2020, Google misled users by failing to disclose that toggling the “Location History” setting to off did not disable all tracking activities. The settlement noted that Google retained the ability to track users’ location via the “Web & App Activity” setting, and used the information for targeted advertising purposes.

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On October 3, 2022, Google LLC (“Google”) agreed to pay the State of Arizona $85 million to settle a consumer privacy lawsuit that alleged the company surreptitiously collected consumers’ geolocation data on smartphones even after users disabled location tracking. 

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On July 11, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection issued a business alert on businesses’ handling of sensitive data, with a particular focus on location and health data. The alert describes the “opaque” marketplace in which consumers’ location and health  data is collected and exchanged amongst businesses and the concerns and risks associated with the processing of such information. The alert specifically focuses on the “potent combination” of location data and user-generated health and biometric data (e.g., through the use of wellness and fitness apps and the sharing of face and other biometric data for app/device authentication purposes). According to the alert, the combination of location and health data “creates a new frontier of potential harms to consumers.”

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This post has been updated. 

On November 10, 2016, the Court of Appeal for Moscow’s Taginsky District upheld an August 2016 decision by the district’s lower court that LinkedIn had violated Russian data protection laws. Access to the professional networking site is now set to be blocked across Russia.

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On June 22, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Singaporean-based mobile advertising network, InMobi, resolving charges that the company deceptively tracked hundreds of millions of consumers’ locations, including children, without their knowledge or consent. Among other requirements, the settlement orders the company to pay $950,000 in civil penalties. 

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On May 30, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a public workshop addressing the need for new guidance on advertising and privacy disclosures online and in mobile environments. During the workshop, the FTC announced that it hopes to release an updated version of its online advertising disclosure guidance this fall that would incorporate input from businesses and consumer advocates. Topics explored at the workshop included:
  • Best practices for privacy disclosures on mobile platforms and how they can be short, effective and accessible to consumers;
  • how to put disclosures in proximity to offers on mobile platforms;
  • social media disclosures; and
  • the placement of material information on webpages.
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On June 28, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission convened a public education forum entitled “Helping Consumers Harness the Potential of Location-Based Services.”  Representatives of telecommunications carriers, technology companies and consumer advocacy organizations discussed technological developments and how best to realize the benefits of location-based services without compromising privacy.


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