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.