SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) has announced InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising
company, has agreed to pay $950,000 in civil penalties after allegations of
deceptively tracking individuals via their mobile devices.
The FTC alleges InMobi tracked consumers’ locations
without express consent. Consumers would deny permission to access their
location information, and inMobi would purportedly still use that information
to give to advertisers.
“InMobi tracked the locations of hundreds of millions of
consumers, including children, without their consent, in many cases totally
ignoring consumers’ express privacy preferences,” said Jessica Rich, director of the
FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This settlement ensures that InMobi
will honor consumers’ privacy choices in the future and will be held
accountable for keeping their privacy promises.”
FTC also charged InMobi with violating the Children’s Online
Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting information from apps clearly
aimed at child audiences.
InMobi originally was mandated to pay a $4 million penalty.
All but $950,000 will be suspended, however, due to the company’s
financial condition. As part of the settlement agreement, the company will
delete all information it collected from children, will be prohibited from
further violations of COPPA and will be prohibited from collecting consumers’
location information without affirmative express consent.