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    Data Privacy Detective Podcast – Episode 102: Data Brokers and Our Private Location Information

The FTC Sues a Broker for Unfair Business Practices, and the Broker Responds

Data brokers acquire and sell data that includes personal location information. This exposes to others visits of women seeking pregnancy healthcare options, the church, synagogue, or mosque we attend, and other sensitive information we would prefer to be kept private. In August 2022, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Kochava, an Idaho based data broker, claiming that it engages in an unfair business practice by sharing location data it gathers from data sources.

Mike Swift, Chief Global Digital Risk Correspondent for MLex Market Insight, a Lexis-Nexis global news organization, discusses the lawsuit and the vital privacy interests at stake. On October 25, 2022, Kochava filed a motion to dismiss and earlier preemptively sued the FTC. Kochava aggressively argues that the FTC lacks authority to make its claims and that data brokers serve an important, positive function.

The Kochava suit will test whether there is federal authority to regulate the sharing of sensitive private information through data brokers. If not, data brokers may be almost entirely unregulated, able to do virtually anything they wish with personal information we did not knowingly authorize them to obtain and sell. You’ll learn what businesses can do amidst a chaotic and evolving global legal compliance and what individuals can do to protect their sensitive personal location information.

If you have ideas for more interviews or stories, please email