FTC sues a company that sells user location data and tracks their visit to fertility Clinics, temples, churches , and Other Sensitive Locations

The Federal Trade Commission launched a case against data broker Kochava on Monday, saying that the business sells geolocation data from hundreds of millions of mobile devices, frequently without user consent, which might expose people’s private actions, such as trips to reproductive health clinics.

The complaint provides evidence of the agency’s response to the Biden administration’s request in July to exercise its legal authority to safeguard reproductive privacy.

According to a press statement from the FTC, it would be able to trace a person from a visit to a fertility clinic to their home location using data from Kochava.

Such a defense is shattered by the argument, which is frequently used by commercial surveillance firms, that data is anonymous if it cannot be clearly linked to a specific person. The FTC lawsuit claims that Kochava’s sale of precise location data associated with advertising IDs makes it possible to identify specific users by combining that data with other data, such as property records.

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, Kochava has only made a few efforts to limit the public’s access to this data. According to the government, 61,803,400 unique mobile IDs from Kochava’s data may be accessed with a free AWS Marketplace account up to June 2022.

A successful lawsuit against Kochava might build a legal foundation for regulations designating the trafficking of location data as an unfair business practice.

Kochava revealed a new feature that will limit geolocation data from critical regions before the proceedings and is now working to integrate the feature. In an effort to prevent the FTC from taking any action, Kochava filed a lawsuit earlier this month in a court in Idaho. The business claimed that the FTC had overstepped its bounds and made false statements regarding the operation of its technology.