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Leading Companies Commit to Privacy-First NAI Enhanced Standards for Precise Location Information

Cuebiq, Foursquare, and Precisely PlaceIQ step up to restrict data use and sharing tied to religious, healthcare, military and other sensitive locations

WASHINGTON, DC (June 22, 2022) – The NAI, the leading self-regulatory body for digital advertising, today announced that leading location data companies Cuebiq, Foursquare, and Precisely PlaceIQ have committed to follow new NAI Enhanced Standards for Precise Location Information Solution Providers.

The Enhanced Standards prohibit the use, sale, and transfer of precise location data from sensitive places, such as those tied to religious worship, sensitive healthcare services, military bases, and LGBTQ+ identity. They also restrict companies from using, selling, or sharing, in the absence of a legally-binding request, precise location data for law enforcement or national security purposes.

“With these Enhanced Standards in place, people can enjoy the benefits of location-based advertising offers without compromising data about where they worship, seek healthcare or shelter, or perform military service,” said Leigh Freund, President and CEO of the NAI. “We’re proud that a group of NAI member companies are stepping up to commit to Enhanced Standards that increase location privacy for consumers and benefit virtually everyone in our society.”

Collection and use of precise location data is already subject to disclosure and consent requirements under the NAI Code of Conduct. The Enhanced Standards adopted today by the three NAI member companies are on top of those requirements, which go beyond existing industry and legal requirements.

“From day one, PlaceIQ has self-regulated not to include sensitive places, and alongside the NAI, we’ve long advocated for a transparent and thorough set of privacy practices. We believe these standards will ensure the value location context has for consumers and provide necessary guardrails for continued trust and innovation in our industry,” said Duncan McCall, SVP & GM at Precisely and Co-Founder of PlaceIQ. “It’s important for the public and it is critically important in the marketplace to ​enable agencies and advertisers the ability to choose a location data partner with a shared focus on data integrity who both values and respects consumer privacy.”

Sensitive Points of Interest include but are not limited to: places of religious worship, sensitive health care treatment centers, military bases, places that imply an LGBTQ+ identification, correctional facilities, immigration or refugee service locations, welfare or other assistance centers, and places primarily intended to be occupied by children under 16.

“We’re proud to partner with the NAI to build these guidelines because ensuring sensitive location data remains off-limits is imperative for consumer privacy,” said Elizabeth Hein, Global Data Protection Officer for Foursquare. “The Enhanced Standards implement restrictions and establish boundaries to manage any potential handling of sensitive data. Foursquare has long had controls in place to protect sensitive groups and we’re proud to see these standards adopted industry-wide.”

The NAI continues to advance strong standards in the precise location space through the Code of Conduct and associated guidance, which apply to all members. These Enhanced Standards apply specifically to those companies that have voluntarily committed to follow them. Such companies will be subject to NAI’s compliance and enforcement process, in addition to potential Federal Trade Commission enforcement based on participating members’ public representations of compliance.

“For location data to continue playing a pivotal role across industries, it is vital not only to adopt, but advocate for standards that put consumer privacy first,” said Gerald Smith, Chief Privacy Officer of Cuebiq. “We firmly believe that the NAI Enhanced Standards is the path forward for location data and are proud to be leaders supporting this initiative.”


About the NAI

The NAI is a non-profit organization that is the leading self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising. Since 2000, we have been working with the leaders in online advertising to craft policies that help ensure responsible data collection and use practices. The result is the development of high standards that are practical and scalable to benefit everyone.

Kate Cox-Nowak

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