The US government is suing an Idaho data company that says it tracks people at abortion clinics

The Federal Trade Commission sued an Idaho-based data company on Monday, accusing it of selling location data from hundreds of millions of mobile devices that can be used to track people at abortion clinics and other sensitive websites.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the government’s main privacy watchdog, He said in the lawsuit He filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Idaho that the company, Kochava Inc. , unfairly sells sensitive data in violation of federal law.

“The FTC will take Kochava’s case to court to protect people’s privacy and stop selling their sensitive geolocation information,” said Samuel Levine, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Consumer Protection. statement.

The lawsuit asks the court for a permanent injunction and any additional compensation the court determines is appropriate.

Sandpoint, based in Idaho Kochava He said the suit has no merit. She said the company complies with all laws, and that the Federal Trade Commission had a fundamental misunderstanding of its business.

“Real progress in improving data privacy for consumers will not be achieved through inflammatory press releases and frivolous lawsuits,” Brian Cox, general manager of the company’s online data marketplace known as Kochava Collective, said in a statement.

Cox accused the FTC of spreading “false information” about data privacy and circumventing Congress, which Weight Federal Data Protection Act. However, he said the company is open to settlement talks if they result in “effective solutions”.

The Kochava Corporation in Sandpoint, Idaho.Google Maps

The lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind brought by the Federal Trade Commission since the US Supreme Court’s ruling in June that set aside Roe v. Wade, the 49-year-old former who secured abortion rights across the country.

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“This action is part of @FTC’s job to use all of our tools to protect Americans’ privacy,” Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan He said on Twitter.

Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission released He said New rules will begin to be considered to extend online privacy protections. And soon after, Kochava lawsuit The Federal Trade Commission said the agency erroneously threatened the company with a lawsuit over its practices.

In his statement, Cox said the company is now voluntarily implementing a new tool to block location data from sensitive sites.

He also said that Kochava draws its data from companies that it says gets people’s approval.

“Kochava sources 100% of the geodata in our data market from third party data brokers who all represent that the data comes from consenting consumers,” he said.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Monday that people are often unaware that their location data is being bought and shared by Kochava, and that they have no control over its sale or use.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has investigated mobile advertising companies before, including business data companies that consumers may not have heard of. Singapore based company agreed to pay $950,000 in civil fines in 2016.

The committee hosts Online public forum On September 8 to hear from the public’s views on the regulation of commercial data brokers. “Anyone can sign up to speak,” Khan said.

Some people opposed the Federal Trade Commission’s extensive privacy enforcement. Republican FTC Member Noah Phillips He said In a statement issued this month, the committee should not operate without further authorization from Congress.

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