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Article

30 Sep 2021

Auteur:
Jon Keegan and Alfred Ng, The Markup

Investigation exposes multibillion-dollar market to sell users’ location data

"There’s a Multibillion-Dollar Market for Your Phone’s Location Data" 30 September 2021

Companies that you likely have never heard of are hawking access to the location history on your mobile phone. An estimated $12 billion market, the location data industry has many players: collectors, aggregators, marketplaces, and location intelligence firms…

Location firm Near describes itself as “The World’s Largest Dataset of People’s Behavior in the Real-World,” with data representing “1.6B people across 44 countries.” Mobilewalla boasts “40+ Countries, 1.9B+ Devices, 50B Mobile Signals Daily, 5+ Years of Data.” X-Mode’s website claims its data covers “25%+ of the Adult U.S. population monthly.”

... But unbeknownst to most users, some of those apps sell or share location data about their users with companies that analyze the data and sell their insights…

Once a person’s location data has been collected from an app and it has entered the location data marketplace, it can be sold over and over again, from the data providers to an aggregator that resells data from multiple sources…

There are a whole slew of potential buyers for location data: investors looking for intel on market trends or what their competitors are up to, political campaigns, stores keeping tabs on customers, and law enforcement agencies, among others.

Chronologie