FTC’s case against Kochava likely to proceed

An Idaho judge is likely to allow the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against mobile app analytics & attribution company Kochava to move forward, however, the FTC may need to revise its case before that, as reported by AdExchanger.

In August last year, the FTC sued Kochava alleging that it’s selling mobile users’ geolocation data which could be used to track their movements and visits to reproductive health clinics, places of worship, homeless and domestic violence shelters, etc. Two weeks before that, Kochava also sued the FTC saying that the agency was threatening to sue it after it didn’t agree to settle.

Kochava’s business practices, according to the FTC, are ‘’unfair’’ under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Kochava, on the other hand, alleges that the FTC’s complaint is based on “sensationalized allegations untethered to facts’’. Moreover, the Sandpoint-based company claims that the FTC’s suit is ‘’unreasonably vague and overbroad’’ and the agency fails to cite a particular regulation or law that its business practices don’t comply with.

Both the FTC and Kochava filed motions to dismiss each others’ cases late last year, and the company revised its motion last week to mention Christine Wilson, who recently resigned from the FTC due to Chairwoman Lina Khan’s “disregard for the rule of law and due process”.

During a hearing that took place on Tuesday, Idaho District Judge B. Lynn Winmilla said that he doesn’t believe Kochava’s claims “are appropriate to rely upon to dismiss the complaint at this juncture in the proceedings.

He hinted that the FTC would be responsible for consolidating the cases and addressing ‘’technical shortcomings in the allegations’’ against the company before resubmitting, possibly by giving more detailed examples of harm.

To allow Kochava to give appropriate responses, more ‘’flesh on the bones’’ could be necessary for the case, he added.

After the hearing, Charles Manning, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kochava, said in a statement that the hearing ‘’was an important step toward resolving the matter’’ and that they remain ‘’hopeful that challenging the FTC’s ambiguous claims will ultimately benefit consumers and advertisers as a whole’’.

The news comes days after Kochava acquired app marketing company Machine Advertising for an undisclosed amount.

Written by Tuna Cetin


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