FTC and $391-Million State AG Case Put Location Data Enforcement on the Map

The Supreme Court’s invalidation of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 prompted an outcry over the use of location data against individuals, which has now culminated in two ground-breaking enforcement actions that highlight the growing regulatory stakes around companies’ handling of this sensitive information. Google’s $391-million settlement with 40 states is the largest U.S. state consumer privacy fine ever, while the FTC’s dispute with a location data broker introduces an untested, aggressive legal theory. This article, the first in a two-part series, provides takeaways and previously unreported details about the cases. The second article will explain the importance of the Network Advertising Initiative’s new voluntary standards, which restrict 13 types of locations; the tightening expectations around precise location data; and compliance insights applicable to companies. See “FTC’s Drizly Case Shows Regulators Are Ready to Police Data’s Expiration Dates” (Nov. 30, 2022).

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