The loved ones safety enterprise was approached by regulators about its information revenue

By: Jon Keegan and Alfred Ng

Originally published on themarkup.org Following Markup Investigation, U.S. Regulators Questioned Life360’s Data Practices

In its 2021 Yearly Report posted on Tuesday, the family safety app Everyday living360 disclosed to buyers that it has been approached by unnamed U.S. regulators trying to get facts about its knowledge protection tactics. The company cited The Markup’s investigation into its knowledge profits as an impetus, saying requests experienced followed publication of the report.  

“Life360 has obtained requests for facts about its data safety methods from US regulators, together with following the publication of an posting by a media outlet named The Markup in relation to Lifestyle360’s knowledge organization in 4Q21, which Daily life360 is responding to in due system,” the company disclosed in the report.

It’s unclear which agency is generating the request. The Markup asked the Federal Trade Fee, the Shopper Money Defense Bureau, and the Securities and Exchange Fee if they had been the regulator referenced in the report. FTC spokesperson Juliana Gruenwald and CFPB spokesperson Tia Elbaum declined to remark. The SEC did not reply to our requests for remark. We also attained out to the attorneys normal for California and New York. The press office for the California legal professional typical mentioned it could not verify nor deny any investigation. The New York attorney general’s office did not answer to our ask for for remark.   

Privateness gurus have often expressed worry about the multibillion-greenback area information market, which income from buying and selling info about people’s whereabouts. The information generally involves sensitive facts like the place individuals reside, the place they work, and locations they’ve been, which can all be utilised to establish individuals regardless of the industry’s efforts to anonymize the info. The Markup has also uncovered that information brokers have little command more than where by the place details they promote finishes up. 

Lifestyle360 markets by itself as a family members safety app for tracking your loved types via cellphone locale facts. Its advertising and marketing content encourages its companies to parents of teenagers.

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In December, The Markup exposed that the corporation was, in some conditions, offering almost true-time information on the whereabouts of its 35 million consumers to about a dozen data brokers. Former workforce of businesses that trade in spot data described the application as one of the largest sources of specific site facts in the sector. In 2020, site info profits generated $16 million for Life360, building up practically 20 per cent of the company’s profits for the yr. 

Following The Markup’s report, Lifetime360 introduced it was massively scaling back its discounts with details brokers, contracting with only one particular info broker, Placer.ai, to promote aggregated facts for a a few-yr time period, and with Allstate’s Arity to offer precise data. 

The company’s new annual report captures an eventful 12 months for the San Francisco–based organization, which is publicly traded on the Australian Securities Trade. In November, the corporation procured spot tracker enterprise Tile for a lot more than $200 million, its premier acquisition to day. While profits and the quantity of consumers on the platform grew significantly in 2021, Lifetime360 remained unprofitable, and above the class of the earlier yr its losses more than doubled, to $33.5 million. 

Lifetime360 did not reply to our request for remark. 

In a letter to shareholders in the report, Existence360 CEO Chris Hulls said that “indirect revenue” from data product sales and the Arity partnership improved 13 per cent yr more than 12 months to $25 million.  The corporation has informed investors that it seeks to go community in the U.S. in 2022. 

This article was originally posted on The Markup and was republished less than the Resourceful Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.

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