For the last few weeks, Kochava has been in the news for a rather unsavory reason: the FTC sued them for practices related to sensitive consumer information, including handling of geolocation data.
In our corner of the mobile map, Kochava is known for their MMP attribution offering. This makes the whole situation painfully confusing for almost everyone, because MMPs are all about data…but not selling it. To make sense of this situation, you have to know that the data in question for this lawsuit comes entirely from a different line of Kochava's business, the Kochava Collective (for a full explanation of the nuance, you should read the well-articulated open letter from Kochava's CEO).
Very few adtech stories make it into the mainstream media spotlight, but this is proving to be one of them. And while some outlets are making a genuine effort to explain the subtleties of the situation, most are not. The unfortunate result is an oversimplified, bastardized narrative in which an unscrupulous vendor is partnered with some of the best-known apps in the world…and then selling user location data on the side.
That narrative is shamelessly misleading, but a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes.
In this new reality, where news stories about user privacy and data security spread like wildfire, brands will have to start keeping their eye on a much bigger picture: even if you're not making use of them, what other offerings are available from your tech partners? And could any of them become a liability for your brand in future?