A trusted family tracking service called Life360 has been selling precise location data on its users, but the company has announced that it will stop doing so. While that’s great, you have to wonder if the trust has already been broken.
Life360 is a service designed to help families keep track of each other. Because families can see exactly where each other are, Life360 also had the same data. Unfortunately for its users, the company sold that information to various brokers.
The company said it sold this data to keep its core offerings free to its users. Of course, your privacy has value, and you could argue that it’s worth more than a few dollars a month a service like this typically charges.
In fact, in 2020, location data sales amounted to nearly 20 percent of Life360’s revenue, bringing around $16 million, so your location is worth quite a lot.
Thankfully, Life360 has announced (via The Markup) that it will stop selling the precise location data of its users. This occurred primarily because of user backlash (and, more likely than not, a departure from its service). Allstate’s Arity will still receive location data, while other brokers will only get users’ data in aggregate form.
Has Life360 already damaged the trust with its users too much? Only time will tell if its 35 million users are willing to stick with the service now that it’s not selling their exact location data. If the service it provides is worthwhile, some people may be willing to forgive and forget, but this might be too much for the privacy-conscious.