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Consumer Reports applauds FTC settlement with X-Mode and Outlogic for allegedly selling raw location data and failing to obtain informed consumer consent

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it reached a settlement with data broker X-Mode and its successor Outlogic over allegations that the company sold precise location data that could be used to track sensitive user data.  

Justin Brookman, director of technology policy at CR and a former FTC official, said, “We commend the Commission for this critical settlement which will reinforce that the collection and sharing of sensitive data without explicit consent should be illegal. The importance of this settlement is highlighted by the fact that this company was allegedly caught selling sensitive location data related to medical and reproductive health, places of religious worship, and domestic abuse shelters. 

We also support the FTC continuing to bring actions against companies that evade platform-level privacy controls. In this case, X-Mode allegedly ignored users who had activated Android’s “Opt Out of Ads Personalization” control on their phones. As more companies are implementing privacy limitations in response to consumer demand for privacy, bad actors cannot be allowed to disregard those rules and secretly collect or share personal data in violation of platform terms.”

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org