18th October 2022

Lawsuits on the horizon for firms selling third-party sensitive data?

There are some things in life which are pretty much unavoidable… and one of those is our data. No matter where we live, what we do or where we are going, our data will always be there, it will always be following our daily lives and you can be rest assured, it will be sold to the highest bidder. Putting all this aside, what we do want as end-users is the knowledge that our data is protected and utilised in the right way that is potentially going to benefit us as customers in the long-term.


Our data is a crucial component to many types of companies, especially network operators. Not only because it helps them understand the customer experience, but also how to help streamline their own business processes and create growth and new revenue streams. Monetising this data can be a real game-changer in terms of digital transformation and becoming the real-deal telco experience providers, where the customer is kept at the heart of their business strategy.


But now it would appear that the acquisition of this third-party data, has been seriously brought into question.


Geolocation data and crowdsourcing is hugely important in the world of telecom and can provide a raft of intel for ISP’s, but buying in from third parties is no longer as simple as that, as in recent news, the FTC (The Federal Trade Commission) has filed a lawsuit against the data collection company Kochava, for selling data that tracks people at reproductive health clinics, places of worship, and other sensitive locations.


The FTC has alleged that the company has failed to adequately protect its data from public exposure, where data feeds allow purchasers to track specific mobile devices and their locations, such as their home addresses, which could when combined with property records uncover a person’s identity. Free data samples have also been readily available with minimal effort to obtain up until June 2022, without hardly any restriction or checks imposed on their use.


This type of news has undoubtedly been an eye-opener or caused a few ripples for those who already buy-in their data from third parties, and therefore naturally have their own set of doubts and questions now over where that data might have come from or how accurate it is. And of course, whether the contents of that data is reliable and trustworthy enough to continue with.

Crowdsourcing however can be carried out in-house so that organisations don’t need to be thrown into doubt over the contents of their data. With Metricell’s do-it-yourself crowdsourcing, our Aptus capability is simple to integrate into the apps of network operators and will automatically transmit anonymous customer experience information straight to the cloud, creating instant value, flexibility and the ability to provide customers with an outstanding network service.

Visit our website today to learn more about DIY crowdsourcing, data monetisation and how you can help protect and grow your business for the future.

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