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Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with location data broker X-Mode Social. X-Mode collects over 10 billion location data points from all over the world every day, and sells it to clients in a range of industries, like advertisers, consulting firms, and private government contractors. The FTC argued that the data broker was conducting unfair business practices, including selling people’s sensitive location data.
To discuss the FTC settlement and its implications, Lawfare's Fellow in Technology Policy and Law Eugenia Lostri sat down with Justin Sherman, Founder and CEO of Global Cyber Strategies and a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. They talked about the FTC’s groundbreaking decision to list sensitive locations about which X-Mode cannot sell data, the likelihood that we will see further FTC action against data brokers, and the persistent need for comprehensive privacy legislation to better address harms.