The Federal Trade Commission finalized a settlement with digital marketing and data aggregator InMarket Media over allegations the company unlawfully collected and used consumers’ location data for advertising and marketing.

In a complaint announced in January 2024, the FTC alleged that InMarket collects location information about consumers from a variety of sources, including its own apps and from third-party apps that incorporate its software development kit (SDK). InMarket combines this location information with other data to help target advertising based on consumers’ behavior. The FTC charged that InMarket failed to fully inform consumers about how their location data—which can include sensitive information about where they live, work and worship—would be used and that it would be combined with other data about those users for targeted advertising. It also failed to ensure that third-party apps that use its SDK obtained informed consent from consumers.

Under the order with InMarket, the company  will be prohibited from selling, sharing or licensing any precise location data and any product or service that categorizes or targets consumers based on sensitive location data. Other provisions require the company to: delete or destroy all the location data it previously collected and any products produced from this data unless it obtains consumer consent or ensures the data has been deidentified; provide a simple and easy-to-find way for consumers to withdraw their consent for the collection and use of their location data for InMarket apps and a mechanism to request deletion of any location data that InMarket previously collected; and create a sensitive location data program and privacy program.

After receiving one comment, the Commission voted 3-0-2 to finalize the settlement with InMarket. Commissioners Melissa Holyoak and Andrew N. Ferguson did not vote on the matter.

Official news published at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2024/05/ftc-finalizes-order-inmarket-prohibiting-it-selling-or-sharing-precise-location-data

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