The Markup Details How Much Life360 Relies On Selling Data…. And What Might Be In Store For Tile Users Now That They Own Tile

Last week I wrote about Life360 and their purchase of Tile. In that writeup, I mentioned this:

But I suspect that Tile users may want to be ready for Life360’s rather craptastic privacy policy. Life360 data harvests and sells your data (including location data). My sense is that this will mean that Tile users will likely defect to other solutions. 

Well, there are more details about the way they handle data. And the details don’t paint Life360 in a positive light:

Through interviews with two former employees of the company, along with two individuals who formerly worked at location data brokers Cuebiq and X-Mode, The Markup discovered that the app acts as a firehose of data for a controversial industry that has operated in the shadows with few safeguards to prevent the misuse of this sensitive information. The former employees spoke with The Markup on the condition that we not use their names, as they are all still employed in the data industry. They said they agreed to talk because of concerns with the location data industry’s security and privacy and a desire to shed more light on the opaque location data economy. All of them described Life360 as one of the largest sources of data for the industry. 

And this doesn’t help Life360’s cause either:

Meanwhile, selling location data has become more and more central to the company’s health as it’s struggled to achieve profitability. In 2016, the company made $693,000 from selling data it collected. In 2020, the company made $16 million—nearly 20 percent of its revenue that year—from selling location data, plus an additional $6 million from its partnership with Arity. 

So Tile users, this is who has purchased your location tracking service. They don’t sound like the best people, and I for one would interested to see how Life360 responds to this so that their purchase of Tile doesn’t go down the tubes.

One Response to “The Markup Details How Much Life360 Relies On Selling Data…. And What Might Be In Store For Tile Users Now That They Own Tile”

  1. […] was the last straw that made Tile sell itself to a company called Life360. This is a company who sells all sorts of location and other data to anyone who will buy it and seemingly makes no apologies for doing so. Which means that if you’re a Tile user, […]

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