FTC Bans Outlogic (X-Mode) From Selling Sensitive Location Data

FTC Bans Outlogic (X-Mode) From Selling Sensitive Location Data

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday prohibited data broker Outlogic, which was previously known as X-Mode Social, from sharing or selling any sensitive location data with third-parties.

The ban is part of a settlement over allegations that the company “sold precise location data that could be used to track people’s visits to sensitive locations such as medical and reproductive health clinics, places of religious worship and domestic abuse shelters.”

X-Mode, which first attracted attention in 2020 for selling location data to the U.S. military, works by offering precise location data that it collects from proprietary apps and third-party apps that incorporate its software development kit (SDK) into its apps. It’s also said to have procured location data from other data brokers and aggregators.

Following the revelations in 2020, both Apple and Google urged app developers to remove the SDK from their apps or face a ban from their respective app stores.

The FTC also called out X-Mode for not being transparent about which entities would receive the data when a customer used a third-party app with its SDK and that it failed to ensure that these apps sought informed consumer consent to grant it permission to access their location information in the first place.

Lastly, X-Mode was alleged to have been negligent in honoring requests made by some Android users to opt out of tracking and personalized ads.

In a statement provided to news agency Reuters, Outlogic said it disagreed with the “implications” of the FTC announcement, and there was no finding it misused location data.

Source:  https://thehackernews.com/