Singapore based mobile advertising Company InMobi has been fined $ 950,000
by The Federal Trade Commission on charges of ?deceptively tracking the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers, including children, without their knowledge or consent to serve them geo-targeted advertising.
In an?official statement, the FTC alleged that InMobi misrepresented the software. It said that its advertising software would only track consumers? location when they opt for it or put it with their device?s privacy setting. But, as per the complaint, the software tracks the location of the consumer without their permission and also when the consumers have denied permission to access their location information.
Violation of Children?s Online Privacy Protection Act
Further, the FTC alleged that InMobi also violated the Children?s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting data of their location from apps which were clearly directed at children, in spite of promising that it would not do so. The complaint noted that InMobi?s software tracked location in thousands of child-directed apps (having hundreds of millions of users) without following the steps required by COPPA to get a parent or guardian?s consent to collect and use a child?s personal information.
Terms Of Settlement
InMobi is subject to a $950k civil penalty which was earlier fixed at $4 Mn but was reduced on account of the company?s financial condition. Further, it will have to comply with the following terms
InMobi Puts It On Technical Errors
- To delete all information collected from children, and prohibited from further violations of COPPA.
- InMobi will be not be allowed to track consumer?s location without their consent, and will be required to honor consumers? location privacy settings.
- The location information of consumer, it collected without their consent, should be deleted and is also prohibited from further misrepresenting its privacy practices.
- InMobi will be required to institute a comprehensive privacy programme that will be independently audited every two years for the next 20 years.
InMobi issued out a statement saying, ?With best intentions to adhere to COPPA requirements, InMobi implemented a process to exclude any publisher?s site or app identified as a COPPA app from interest-based, behavioural advertising. During the investigation by FTC, InMobi discovered that?there was a technical error at InMobi?s end
?that led to the process not being correctly implemented in all cases. As a result, some COPPA sites were served with interest-based campaigns on the InMobi Network. InMobi promptly notified the FTC of this issue as soon as it was discovered and has made it clear from the outset that this was by no way means deliberate. Any family safe ads that may have formed part of targeted campaigns would have been undertaken to target the adult owner of the device.?
It is a summarization of an article from Inc42. For more information, visit https://inc42.com/flash-feed/inmobi-ftc/