Judge Allows FTC Case Against Kochava to Proceed therecord.media

Suzanne Smalley, the Record:

An Idaho federal judge on Saturday ruled that a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement action against the data broker Kochava — which the agency asserts sells vast amounts of non-anonymized data belonging to millions of people — may continue, a reversal of a prior ruling to dismiss the case.

Privacy advocates consider the court decision to be significant for several reasons, including that the case is the FTC’s first against a geolocation data broker to be fought in court. The decision also lays the foundation for a widely anticipated FTC rulemaking on commercial surveillance, which could further limit data brokers’ activities.

The FTC, under Lina Khan, is scoring victories for consumers worldwide by beating back data brokers like Kochava and X-Mode, as they cannot be certain they are only collecting data on U.S. customers. If the FTC prevails in this suit, it could put significant restrictions on this industry based on the fundamental principle that exposing private data is inherently subjecting people to potential harm.