InMobi fined $950K for violation of users’ privacy

By : |June 23, 2016 0

There’s more trouble brewing for already battered mobile advertising firm InMobi, as the company was slapped with close to $1 million in fine by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for illegally tracking its users’ location.

The penalty originally imposed on InMobi was close to $4 Million, but FTC brought it down to $950K, looking at the financial condition of the firm. The commission has also asked InMobi to establish a comprehensive privacy program. An independent firm will audit this program every 2 years for the next 20 years.

The company allegedly collected information through geo-tagging in mobile apps that use InMobi’s advertising solutions, even after users denied permissions to access their locations. Some apps did not even ask permission to track locations from the users.

FTC has also charged InMobi for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), as it allegedly also collected location information of children. “This settlement ensures that InMobi will honor consumers’ privacy choices in the future, and will be held accountable for keeping their privacy promises,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said.

InMobi has denied the charges saying the company had implemented a process to prevent any COPPA app or website from using internet-based advertising. But that claim proved wrong, when during an FTC investigation, the company found that a technical error did not let the process to implement properly.

The firm promptly notified FTC regarding the same and has claimed that the error was not deliberate. “The errors were corrected in Q4 2015, and since then, InMobi has been fully compliant with all COPPA regulations,” the company said in a statement.

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