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Privacy Advocates Petition FTC to Regulate Location Data Industry

Your data is the most valuable thing in the world for tech companies, but some data will be treated differently from others. For example, a company obtaining your search history might be violating your privacy less than one that harvests your location data because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing people to see the physical locations that you have traveled to which can be concerning for lots of reasons.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the location data industry often does some pretty egregious things to acquire the data that it uses to turn a profit. In spite of the fact that this is the case, they are still able to get their hands on as much data as they like because they make their privacy policies intentionally confusing, and while they have disclosures they make no attempt to make these disclosures easy for people to read.

That’s why a number of privacy and civil liberty advocates are petitioning the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on any location data companies that use deceptive practices in achieving their goals. Some of these companies use very long winded privacy policies, with one having a policy that was over 11,000 words long and many of the sentences contained in it had not been completed.

This is clearly a conscious attempt to make users feel like they have a false sense of security, and it is high time that these companies get regulated to whatever extent the FTC deems fit. Most users don’t even know that various companies are selling their location data to third parties, and they would want to stop this happening as soon as they realize what’s going on.

It remains to be seen if the FTC will actually do what advocates are asking them to do, but this petition might become part of a wider movement that will stop location data companies from violating people’s rights to privacy with all things having been considered and taken into account.


Read next: Apple’s New Privacy Update Is Estimated To Leave A ‘$16 Billion’ Dent On Leading Social Networks’ Revenue

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