On June 22, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has settled charges that InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company, deceptively tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of consumers, including children, to deliver geo-targeted advertising, and violated both the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This is the FTC’s first enforcement action against a mobile advertising network. The FTC alleges that, in instances when consumers had set their device settings to deny access to location information, InMobi inferred consumers’ locations based on the WiFi networks near their devices and served them geo-targeted ads. As part of the settlement, InMobi has agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy program, to collect or infer location information only after obtaining consumers’ affirmative express consent, and only in a manner consistent with consumers’ device location settings, and to pay a civil penalty of $950,000 to resolve the alleged COPPA violations.
Click here to read our complete WSGR Alert examining the FTC settlement.