Tile tracker prospective buyer Life360 accused of selling location data

Many individuals who’ve caught a whiff of the various privateness points on this digital age could presume that all of it revolves round social media. The quite horrifying reality is that just about something about an individual that may be transmitted in a digital method can be utilized to create a profile of that individual, usually for focused advertising and marketing functions. That particularly consists of the locations you’ve been to, which is why location monitoring has been a really thorny topic so far as privateness points go. That’s why it’s a bit worrying that the favored Bluetooth tracker Tile could be acquired by an organization that’s now allegedly violating its personal customers’ privateness, which is ironic given the character of Life360’s enterprise.

Picture Credit score: Tile

READ: After making an attempt Apple’s AirTag I can see why Tile is livid

Life360 may not be a well-known title to many individuals, but it surely has constructed a fame round serving to households preserve monitor of each other, usually with the purpose of making certain their security. The app is useful in ensuring youngsters are the place they need to be or that relations can ship SOS messages in an emergency. These options clearly require some type of location monitoring in addition to some expectations of privateness.

A prolonged report from The Markup, nonetheless, casts some doubt on the latter. Former Life360 staff declare that the corporate mainly sells the situation knowledge of its customers to nearly anybody for the fitting value. It even partnered with the US Heart for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) to trace “mobility developments” in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Life365 app screenshot


Most of Life360’s clients, nonetheless, are concerned within the promoting trade, offering insights to be used with focused promoting. Firm founder and CEO Chris Hulls admits that they see this knowledge as an essential a part of their enterprise mannequin however that they’ve privateness insurance policies in place that forestall personally identifiable info (PII) from leaking to its purchasers. Life360 additionally credit this enterprise mannequin for permitting them to supply free life-saving providers like driver security.

Complicating issues, nonetheless, is Life360’s intent to accumulate Tile, probably the most well-liked manufacturers of Bluetooth trackers out there as we speak. With Apple’s AirTag and Samsung’s SmartTag, that market has seen a renewed curiosity in addition to extra intense scrutiny from privateness advocates and regulators.

The report, whereas not precisely damning, may put a dent in Life360’s plans. In response to The Markup, Hulls stated Life360 “doesn’t have plans” to promote Tile tracker knowledge.

No matter these privateness insurance policies, the mere thought that Life360, a service geared toward households with youngsters, offers closely within the data-selling enterprise is sufficient to increase pink flags. With out many exterior safeguards in place, there’s nearly no telling how a lot info its companions are in a position to glean from the exact location knowledge that it sells. Safety and privateness consultants have argued that even anonymized knowledge can nonetheless be used to construct a profile of a person for focused promoting, which might then be used to reap different info from different sources (through Nature).

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